Watch a Micro Robot Pull 2,000 Times its Weight

Researchers are looking to scale this technology up to larger robots to carry very heavy goods.

Photo Caption: MicroTugs use a controllable adhesive to pull 2,000 times their weight.

Researchers at Stanford University have created micro-sized robots, called MicroTugs, that can pull 2,000 times their weight.

“A 12-gram micro robot uses controllable adhesive (like ants use) to pull 2,000 times its weight,” the MicroTugs website says. “This is the equivalent of a human adult dragging a blue whale around on land.”

Another MicroTug, which weighs nine grams, can carry more than a kilogram while climbing vertically on glass. The researchers say “this is equivalent to a human climbing up a skyscraper while carrying an elephant.”

Watch the video below, it’s quite impressive. The researchers will explore how to make a number of MicroTugs work together to carry heavier items and how to scale the technology up to larger robots to carry very heavy goods.

Some of the potential applications, the researchers say, include military, emergency situations, and hauling heavy equipment. New Scientist cites one example of a MicroTug carrying a ladder to a person trapped in a burning building.

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe:  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.


Log in to leave a Comment

Editors’ Picks

SpotMini Robot Dog Gets Major Makeover
Boston Dynamics introduced a new version of its SpotMini robot dog. The...

3 Ways AR/VR Are Improving Autonomous Vehicles
A lot of work still needs to be done before we start...

New Emotional Robotics Lab to Study Human-Robot Interaction
The University of Texas at Arlington has launched a new Emotional Robotics...

Inside the Autonomous Super Highway Race
As autonomous vehicles are speeding ahead toward adoption, one challenge that Cruise,...