Mechanical engineers at Stanford University in California will demonstrate some super-strong tiny robots at next month’s International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Seattle, Washington.
The star of the show will be μTug, which despite weighing just 12 grams, can pull a weight 2000 times heavier than itself.
That’s about “the same as you pulling around a blue whale”, Stanford engineer David Christensen told New Scientist.
So, why? For starters, the tiny bots could be very useful in emergency situations, the teams says. But apply their pulling power to larger robots and they can unlock some serious potential.
Their ability lies not wholly in the power of their tiny motors. It’s more to do with their sticky feet, which have been modeled on those of a gecko and are covered in microscopic rubber spikes.
And while they’re impressive to watch in action, make sure you have the sound up so you can fully appreciate their tiny exertions.