Chinese, US scientists design crab-like microbots


BEIJING: Chinese and US scientists have developed a tiny, untethered crab-like robot capable of walking in different directions at varying speeds.

A study published on Thursday in the journal Science Robotics detailed the microbots, which are made of shape-memory alloy and measure smaller than a millimeter in size. Lasers are used to directly manipulate their movements.

Han Mengdi with Peking University and collaborators from Northwestern University in Illinois exploited controlled mechanical buckling to convert multi-layer 2D patterns into 3D structures.

Then, they deposited an additional conformal coating of silicon dioxide to fix the 3D shapes, which can range from arrays of curved filaments and origami-like folded constructs to multiple biomimetic configurations, according to the study.

The researchers found that selective heating on a specific part of the robot can induce a directional locomotion, thanks to its asynchronous change in shape during laser scanning.

When a laser shines on the robots, their joints expand from the heat. When the laser stops shining, their joints contract as they cool.

This causes a crab-like scuttling motion, with their speed and direction dependant on the light frequency and angle.

The ribbon robot shown in the paper operates with an average speed of 0.017 mm/s at a laser scanning frequency of 0.1 Hz.

The study also demonstrated that the robots can revert to their original 2D shapes and be remodelled to suit different purposes.

With varying 3D geometries and laser scanning patterns, they can bend, twist, jump and zigzag.

The microbots, designed for mass production, have the potential to be used as mobile sensors in limited spaces or minimally invasive surgery in the future, said the researchers. — Xinhua

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines at 9pm on Sunday (June 26, 2022)
Singapore foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan meets Turkish counterpart; discusses expansion of food exports to island
Indonesia president support group Projo to back candidate who continues Jokowi's legacy
Thailand’s no mask mandate comes with conditions, warns ministry; 2,378 Covid-19 new cases on Sunday (June 26)
Philippines warns on sugar shortages in the country due to low output and import delays
Vietnam reports 557 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday (June 26); total now close to 10.75 million now
Nine people taken to hospital after crash involving taxi and two cars along Pan-Island Expressway towards Tuas in Singapore
Indonesia says Foxconn may invest in projects for its new RM150bil capital
Death toll in Bangkok blaze on Sunday (June 26) rises to two, witness describes horror event
One killed, one missing in Philippine ferry fire from the waters off the central island of Bohol

Others Also Read