This tiny, soft robot can run really fast across the floor and can re-form after being squished.
Personally, I can't stand the sight of cockroaches, and I am the first one out of the room whenever I see one wiggling his antennas. However, this squishy robot, the size of a postage stamp, can run 70 times its own body lengths every second, which is more than three times quicker than a cheetah! (comparatively).
"It's really, really fast! and to be honest, it surprised me," says Martin Kaltenbrunner of Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria. "During the trial, we had to buy a better high-speed camera because the one we had wasn't good enough." Kaltenbrunner and his team used a rubbery material to create the incredibly quick soft robot, which they then used magnetic fields and electric currents to drive. They anticipate using it in medicine at some point to administer medications or carry out surgical procedures inside the body.
According to Kevin Chen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it can utilize a lot of power in its comparatively small body thanks to its very high power density for a soft robot. The author claims that a robot can carry more payload, fly quicker, and undertake aggressive maneuvers like somersaults with a better power density.
The robot can now function untethered for less than 30 minutes, but according to Kaltenbrunner, the team intends to make the robot more autonomous. As a result, he claims, it would be possible to use its speed in a variety of settings, including for medicinal purposes.
Although this new robot is 17 times faster than the previous fastest robot, and that is definitely impressive. I would like to ask the researchers NOT to put little antennas on it since I don't think I can handle something like that heading straight at me.