Robotics researchers have come up with some remarkable things, like this self-steering drone. Now a group from Stanford University has created 1-inch microbots, called μTugs (pronounced “micro-Tugs”) that can move some really big things.
The researchers started by creating a gripping foot that acts like a gecko’s toes. That gives the ‘bot the traction it needs to really tug. A set of wheels lets it move forward between pulls. It may be slow, but it steadily moves objects weighing up to 2,000 times more than itself.
Climbing robots can scale a vertical surface while pulling up to 100 times their own weight. That’s like a person scaling a building with an elephant in tow!
Watch the ‘bots in action:
Did you know? Geckos can climb straight up smooth surfaces without slipping!
Want to know more? Check out my story on the microbots for Science News for Students.