The Robot that Drags Its Own Weight


A team of mechanical engineers of Stand ford University has developed a small robot with great potential it is in fact able to drag objects on the weight 100 times its own. The official presentation will be staged next month during the occasion International Conference on Robotics and mechanization in Seattle.

The secret is represented by stickers placed below those that can be defined standing unit robotics with a design inspired by the gecko these are enclosed within a thin rubber, which adheres firmly to the surfaces still vertical ones if the robot is performing a real climb.

The robot

When a pressure is applied, the rubber sags increasing its surface area and its adhesive capacity, so that a motor has integrated fashion to pull him the weight transported. When continue on the path, the reverse operation is carried out and the feet come off on the fly from the surface. To better understand what you are talking you can look at the demo video stream below.

The operation of a similar system is inspired not only to feet of geckos, but also to the way of moving of the caterpillars in which a part of the body remains firmly anchored to a support, while the rest you drag bringing forward the weight. The project of Stanford University was launched in 2006 and, thanks to the results achieved to date, only 9 grams a robot is able to move objects over 1 Kg.

The same principle can also be applied to smaller scales: the researcher Elliot Hawks has made ​​a version of just 20 mg, which can drag a clip from 500 mg. In the future devices of this type they may be employed, for example, in emergency situations where human intervention is deemed too dangerous but there is need to move heavy objects, for example rubble or parts of buildings collapsed.