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Vibration-Powered Robots Are the Size of the World's Smallest Ant

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A micro-bristle-bot next to a U.S. penny.

Tiny three-dimensionally-printed robots developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology move by harnessing the power of vibrations.

Credit: Allison Carter

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) have developed tiny three-dimensionally (3D)-printed robots that move by harnessing vibration from piezoelectric actuators, ultrasound sources, or tiny speakers.

The bots respond to different vibration frequencies, depending on their configurations, allowing users to control individual devices by adjusting the vibration.

The bots are about two millimeters long, about the size of the world's smallest ant, and can cover four times their own length in one second.

The researchers built a “playground” in which multiple micro-bots can move around as the researchers learn more about what they can do.

Said Georgia Tech's Azadeh Ansari, “We are working to make the technology robust, and we have a lot of potential applications in mind. We are working at the intersection of mechanics, electronics, biology and physics. It’s a very rich area. and there’s a lot of room for multidisciplinary concepts.”

From Georgia Tech Research Horizons
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, ­SA


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