on March 15th, 2016

Like something out of Ant-Man, engineers from Stanford University have put their worker ant-robots to work. They have built six small robots that have mustered up the strength to pull a two-ton car. 

In their paper, Let’s All Pull Together: Principles for Sharing Large Loads in Microrobot Teams, the researchers debut the MicroTug robots. 

The lab responsible for the bots is Stanford’s Biometrics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory. 

The engineers say the microrobots have the power of six humans pulling at the Eiffel Tower. A weird comparison but an interesting perspective as to how the Microtugs are able to pull a car and what they will be able to achieve in the future. 

In a video released by Stanford University (check below) the engineers say that an adhesive inspired by gecko toes enable the robots to move things much heavier than their own weights. The video also shows that when the bots work together they can pull even heavier objects together – in the video, a line of microrobots pulls a two-ton car. 

David Christensen, a researcher in the lab that is at the forefront of the project, says: “By considering the dynamics of the team, not just the individual, we are able to build a team of our ‘microTug’ robots that, like ants, are superstrong individually, but then also work together as a team.”

 

 

 

 

 

New York Times


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