Jumping Microrobot 'Flea' Is Solar Powered

Flea-sized autonomous jumping microrobots may be just around the corner, thanks to research carried out at Berkeley by Sarah Bergbreiter. A micro-mechanical robot uses solar power to stretch a rubber band, jumping up to thirty times its height.


(Design of an Autonomous Jumping Microrobot [pdf] )

At the millimeter size scale, jumping can offer numerous advantages for efficient locomotion, including dealing with obstacles and potentially even latching onto other larger mobile hosts. Robot design is divided into four primary areas: energy storage, actuation, power, and control. Like its biological inspiration, the flea, a jumping microrobot requires an energy storage system to store energy and release it quickly to jump. Silicone micro rubber bands have been fabricated and assembled into the microrobot for this task. To stretch these micro rubber bands, electrostatic inchworm motors are chosen as actuators due to their high forces, long throw, and low input power requirements. Finally, solar cells and a microcontroller have been chosen to power and control the microrobot. A small-scale version of this system has been prototyped with the solar cells and a simple 4-bit microcontroller driving an inchworm motor. Separately, an inchworm motor has been demonstrated pulling and storing 4.9 nJ of energy in a micro rubber band. Finally, initial tests with a probe-loaded robot prototype have demonstrated a microrobot which can potentially jump 1.2 cm straight up.

Inevitably, this little guy makes me think of the scarab robot from Raymond Z. Gallun's 1936 classic The Scarab.

...the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might, and sought the security of a shadowed corner. There it studied its surroundings, transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that it heard through its ear microphones and saw with its minute vision tubes.
(Read more about Gallun's insect robot)

If leaping robot news doesn't make you jumpy (it's late), be sure to check out the Toyota Robot Leg With Bird-Like Vertical Leap or even the decorative Jumping Spider Tank Robot Tachikoma.

From Design of an Autonomous Jumping Microrobot [pdf] via Robots.net.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/5/2007)

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 ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?'' John Cameron, 1991.

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Are you allergic to autonomous robot bees?

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

 

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

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'

Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.

Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'

Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.

EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

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.