Harvard Made A Cockroach-Inspired Robot That Can Swim And Walk Underwater

Robots are becoming more advanced, especially the little ones.

Now there are tiny robots that, among other increasingly impressive things, can move like spiders ( that you can build yourself), and that can swim pretty precisely thanks to wavy fins. The aquatic robot specifically is incredible, and now it has a new friend: The folks at Harvard have created a mini robot that can navigate very well both on land and in water (via Engadget).

The Harvard Ambulatory Microbot (HAMR) is very miniscule (its foot pads are smaller than a penny) and weighs very little (1.65 grams), both of which are key to its functionality: it can stay on top of a surface of water thanks in part to surface tension, but is also able to break through the surface and get to the bottom of the body, where it is able to walk pretty effectively, not terribly unlike the cockroaches that inspired its form and function. Impressively, it can move a a 1.44-gram payload, so it’s a strong little guy.

It’s pretty cool now, but it’s not quite where the team would like it to be yet. For instance, it can’t get out of water without a ramp yet, but the team behind the robot is working on that, considering ideas like a jumping mechanism or some sort of adhesive. Either way, it’s pretty sweet and definitely something that’s worth exploring.

What sort of applications could you see a robot like this being used for? Let us know what you think down on the comments!

Featured image: Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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