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Watch this video of six tiny robots working together to pull a 2-ton car

By midian182
Mar 14, 2016
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  1. Most people know that ants can lift over 100 times their body weight, and when they work together, these tiny insects can move objects much bigger than themselves. Researchers at Stanford Universtiy have been studying this ability for a while and have now developed a team of six tiny robots that use the same principles to move a car.

    The researchers at Stanford’s Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory have created the microTug robots. The miniature machines use a special adhesive inspired by Gecko toes that allow them to pull incredibly heavy weights, but is still able to detach easily.

    This biomimicry is partly how the six robots, weighing a total of 3.5 ounces, can pull a 3900-pound car, which you can see in the video below. Graduate David Christensen, who was one of the authors of the paper on the robots, says this feat is the equivalent of six humans moving the Eiffel Tower and three Statues of Liberty.

    “By considering the dynamics of the team, not just the individual, we are able to build a team of our ‘microTug’ robots that, like ants, are superstrong individually, but then also work together as a team,” Christensen told the NY Times.

    Researchers found that the best way for the microTugs to work together to pull the vehicle was by using a very slow and steady synchronous movement. The video is shown at 20 times speed, but it’s still an incredible achievement.

    Although it’s not mentioned in the video, this technology has many potential real-life applications, including emergency situations where heavy objects need to be moved but there isn’t space to use large machinery.

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  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,682   +787

    Nothing less than impressive .... but the big question is, how long for them to fetch me a beer from the frige??
     
    p51d007 likes this.
  3. RAproducer

    RAproducer TS Rookie

    Swarm robots are just one of the techs coming in the next president's term. Who will encourage tech more, Trump or Clinton?
     
  4. Jumpbackjack

    Jumpbackjack TS Rookie

    That is just incredibly cool. This is what the world should be doing instead of fighting.
     
  5. blooooopy

    blooooopy TS Rookie

    Lol @ two ton car. It's on wheels, you have not seen the videos of people pulling buses with their teeth?
     
    p51d007 and treetops like this.
  6. JB Hickok

    JB Hickok Banned Posts: 29

    yeah, take the air out of the tires and let 'em have another go.
     
    p51d007 likes this.
  7. thevaliantx

    thevaliantx TS Rookie

    I call bull on that one. Not enough can be seen with the video to 'prove' that the robots were able to do that.
     
  8. Sankara

    Sankara TS Rookie

    Hope some time soon I can use this technology to pull my car up my drive way during a snowy winter. It has been a tough game for me otherwise
     
  9. SenorDoubtful

    SenorDoubtful TS Rookie

    If in fact the car is in park or reverse this is very impressive. If the car is in neutral, well, it's less impressive.
     
  10. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    My three year old child is strong enough to move my car in neutral on the driveway. (although he's also strong enough to roll me over at 250lbs. He's very stro) That's one reason it's so important to keep kids away from the cars even when parked. It doesn't take much to start a car rolling on a flat surface. Even less if it's got a slight downward grade to it.. If they get in and somehow it gets set to neutral... And no one uses their parking brake like they are supposed to.
     

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