Insectoid Microbot Leverages Small-Scale Physics to Swim & Walk Underwater


EXCERPT: Inspired by bugs, Harvard’s Ambulatory Microrobot, or HAMR, can run, climb, make sharp turns, and carry small payloads. In the latest upgrade to the system, HAMR has been endowed with the ability to swim, dive down from the surface, and walk underwater—no small task for an object as light as a paperclip.

Roboticists at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have added tweaks to HAMR which allows it to swim on the surface of water, break surface tension and sink, and walk underwater. This microbot, weighing a mere 1.65 grams and capable of carrying 1.44 grams of cargo, can now explore both terrestrial and aquatic environments. Eventually, HAMR could be used as a scout in search and rescue operations, or for investigating dangerous or hard-to-reach environments. The details of this research can now be found in the science journal *Nature*....


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