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Small-scale soft-bodied robot with multimodal locomotion

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27/02/2018

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed a minuscule, flexible robot that can master a variety of forms of movement. Its magnetic drive allows it to walk, crawl and roll through difficult terrain.

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed a minuscule, flexible robot that can master a variety of forms of movement. Its magnetic drive allows it to walk, crawl and roll through difficult terrain. Moreover, it can transport small loads and swim on and in liquids. In future, tiny robots moving in this way could transport medication specifically to where it is needed.

The robot is able to perform the different movements because the scientists have embedded magnetic microparticles in its soft, elastic silicone rubber body.

More information: https://www.mpg.de/11895964/millirobot-versatility-movement

Wenqi Hu, Guo Zhan Lum, Massimo Mastrangeli & Metin Sitti, Small-Scale Soft-Bodied Multimodal Locomotion, Nature 554 (2018) 81–85; DOI:10.1038/nature25443.

News suggested by: Nora Dempsey (Institut Néel, France)

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