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Sunday, December 19, 2021

Tiny Robotics

Very tiny robotics,  collaborative?

A new micro aerial robot based on dielectric elastomer actuators

by Ingrid Fadelli , Tech Xplore

A 0.16 g microscale robot that is powered by a muscle-like soft actuator. Credit: Ren et al.

Micro-sized robots could have countless valuable applications, for instance, assisting humans during search-and-rescue missions, conducting precise surgical procedures, and agricultural interventions. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have recently created a tiny, flying robot based on a class of artificial muscles known as dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs).

This new robot, presented in a paper published in Wiley's Advanced Materials journal, significantly outperformed many DEA-based micro-systems developed in the past. Most notably, the robot can operate at low voltages and has high endurance despite its miniature size.

"Our group has a long-term vision of creating a swarm of insect-like robots that can perform complex tasks such as assisted pollination and collective search-and-rescue," Kevin Chen, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Tech Xplore. "Since three years ago, we have been working on developing aerial robots that are driven by muscle-like soft actuators." ... ' 

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