Thermal Powered Microbot

MicrobotGraduate students at the University of Washington have created tiny robots as big as your fingernail and thinner than a dime.

In this photo from the University of Washington, the students have put tiny paperclips onto the robot to show that it can carry up to seven times it’s own weight.

On the underside of the robot are many tiny feet.

Technically it is a centipede, with 512 feet arranged in 128 sets of four. Each foot consists of an electrical wire sandwiched between two different materials, one of which expands under heat more than the other. A current traveling through the wire heats the two materials and one side expands, making the foot curl. Rows of feet shuffle along in this way at 20 to 30 times each second.

These tiny shuffling feet allow the robot to move at a rate of three feet per hour.   Quite impressive when carrying seven times your own weight.

Link via (Science Daily)

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