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Next-Generation Cockroach-Inspired Robot Is Small, but Mighty


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The HAMR-Jr cockroach-inspired robot is only slightly bigger in length and width than a penny.

Researchers have developed a scaled-down version of a cockroach-inspired robot.

Credit: Kaushik Jayaram/Harvard SEAS

Researchers at Harvard University's Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have created a scaled-down version of a cockroach-inspired microrobot.

The highly dexterous HAMR-JR is a half-scale iteration of the Harvard Ambulatory Microrobot (HAMR), which demonstrates that the pop-up manufacturing process for its larger predecessors works at multiple scales.

The process involves etching components into a two-dimensional (2D) sheet that pop out in the robot's three-dimensional structure, and maintains HAMR's functionalities by shrinking its 2D sheet design, as well as actuators and onboard circuitry.

Since scaling down changes certain dynamic principles, the researchers developed a model to predict locomotion metrics that can be used to design a system with the required specifications.

SEAS' Robert Wood said, "This new robot demonstrates that we have a good grasp on the theoretical and practical aspects of scaling down complex robots using our folding-based assembly approach."

From Harvard University John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
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