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 ")

Medical Exoskeleton From Cyberdyne Gets FDA Approval
It's been a long road for HAL-5; I started writing about it in 2005.

Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land
High Plains, indeed.

Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.

Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.

 

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

A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...'

Neuromorphic Computer Offers Non-von Neumann Architecture
Fires faster than brain at 1/10K energy.

Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'

Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.

Alibaba's AI May Read Better Than You
'Mike ... could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly.'

Musk's Boring Flamethrower
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'

Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...'

Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
Beyond science and fiction.

Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.'

Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'

Drunk Driver Of Tesla Claims Autopilot Was In Charge
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive.'

Medical Exoskeleton From Cyberdyne Gets FDA Approval
It's been a long road for HAL-5; I started writing about it in 2005.

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'

Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'

NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

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.