Posted on by & filed under Industry.

ImageI’ll resist the temptation to make a joke about just how ironic it is that such a small thing is such big news, but a group of Dartmouth researchers just recently created, what’s now dubbed, ‘the world’s smallest robot." Whether that’s actually true or not, it’s pretty darn small – measuring 60 x 250 micrometers. Or, "about as wide as a strand of human hair, and half the length of the period at the end of this sentence."
It propels itself forward by inching along, taking 10-nanometer steps, and turns by planing a "foot" and turning around it.

Here’s a pretty nifty video of the robot in action. Note that it’s significantly sped up.

Because objects tend to stick to each other, especially on a very small scale, the robot is built entirely without hinges or pivots. It moves by bending itself.

The robot, "is teleoperated, powered by the grid of electrodes it walks on. The charge in the electrodes not only provides power, it also supplies the robot’s instructions that allow it to move freely over the electrodes, unattached to them. "

So, don’t be looking for these robots to be crawling around underfoot any time soon. You’ll find aditional coverage here. And pictures here. Bruce Donald, lead researcher, website is here.

2 Responses to “Big News: Worlds Smallest Robot”

  1. Larissa

    :) [B]i thought it was amazing on how this robot was made. I am using the article in the magazine for science and am very very interested on how this robot works. How can I learn more about this micro-robot?
    Sorry about my e-mail and how it is unprofessional……but i cannot change it.

  2. William

    Larissa, I’m sure you can find contact information for the professors involved on the Dartmouth website.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)