MicroTug Is A Micro Robot Beast

Take a look at this tiny (12 gram) micro robot dragging hundreds of times its own weight across a table. The µTug secret? (it's in the feet!)


(µTug or MicroTug robot video)

The controllable adhesives used by insects to both carry large loads and move quickly despite their small scale inspires the µTug robot concept. These are small robots that can both move quickly and use controllable adhesion to apply interaction forces many times their body weight. The adhesives enable these autonomous robots to accomplish this feat on a variety of common surfaces without complex infrastructure. The benefits, requirements, and theoretical efficiency of the adhesive in this application are discussed as well as the practical choices of actuator and robot working surface material selection. A robot actuated by piezoelectric bimorphs demonstrates fast walking with a no-load rate of 50 Hz and a loaded rate of 10 Hz. A 12 g shape memory alloy (SMA) actuated robot demonstrates the ability to load more of the adhesive enabling it to tow 6.5 kg on glass (or 500 times its body weight). Continuous rotation actuators (electromagnetic in this case) are demonstrated on another 12 g robot give it nearly unlimited work cycles through gearing. This leads to advantages in towing capacity (up to 22 kg or over 1800 times its body weight), step size, and efficiency. This work shows that using such an adhesive system enables small robots to provide truly human scale interaction forces, despite their size and mass. This will enable future microrobots to not only sense the state of the human environment in which they operate, but apply large enough forces to modify it in response.

Eric Frank Russel had a piece of this future in 1941. Writing in Astounding Stories as Maurice A. Hugi, he created a vision that inspired Ray Bradbury and many roboticists. Be sure to read more about his story The Mechanical Mice, but for now take a look at the golden shuttles:

... there came a very tiny, very subtle and extremely high-pitched whine. Something small, metallic, glittering had shot through one of the rat holes, fled across the floor toward the churning monstrosity. A trapdoor opened and swallowed it with such swiftness that it had disappeared before I realized what I'd seen. The thing had been a cylindrical, polished object resembling the shuttle of a sewing machine, but about four times the size. And it had been dragging something also small and metallic.

Read more at µTugs: Enabling Microrobots to Deliver Macro Forces with Controllable Adhesives and micro tugs.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/3/2016)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but shows real promise.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.' - Philip K. Dick

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.