The real cockroaches have a competition, who can outperform them in any real-time task, Harvard’s new robotic cockroach named HAMR can outlast its counterpart by walking on the water and underwater as well.
Cockroaches are known for their endurance and can survive underwater for 30 minutes, but Harvard’s robotic cockroach can do so much more. The Microrobot, known as HAMR, can swim and easily walk underwater for as long as it needs by using the law of physics. It has multifunctional foot pads that use surface tension and buoyancy to paddle across the surface of the water.
The robot HAMR uses voltage to break the water surface so it can go underwater. This is known as ‘electrowetting’. Weighing just 1.6 grams, the same weight as a paperclip, the robotic roach can carry an additional 1.44 grams without sinking.
“This research demonstrates that micro-robotics can successfully use the small-scale physics to perform functions and capabilities that are challenging for larger robots,” the first author of the research, Kevin Chen, said. The next step for the mighty robotic cockroach is to improve its ability to go back to dry land without the ramp and crawl fast on the dry surfaces.