DARPA the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency has this week unveiled tiny new SHRIMP robots which could aid disaster recovery. The development of microrobotics by DARPA seeks to “advance the state-of-the art in micro-to-milli robotics platforms and underlying technology”.
The tiny robots have been designed to provide aid workers the ability to navigate the rubble and enter highly unstable areas. Dr. Ronald Polcawich, a DARPA program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) explained more. “Whether in a natural disaster scenario, a search and rescue mission, a hazardous environment, or other critical relief situation, robots have the potential to provide much needed aide and support. However, there are a number of environments that are inaccessible for larger robotic platforms. Smaller robotics systems could provide significant aide, but shrinking down these platforms requires significant advancement of the underlying technology.”
The new robotic technology is set to be rigorously tested using “Olympic-style” trials to make sure that the advanced technology is fit for use with tests expected to start during March 2019. “To help overcome the challenges of creating extremely SWaP-constrained microrobotics, DARPA is launching a new program called SHort-Range Independent Microrobotic Platforms (SHRIMP). The goal of SHRIMP is to develop and demonstrate multi-functional micro-to-milli robotic platforms for use in natural and critical disaster scenarios. To achieve this mission, SHRIMP will explore fundamental research in actuator materials and mechanisms as well as power storage components, both of which are necessary to create the strength, dexterity, and independence of functional microrobotics platforms.”
For more details on the new SHRIMP robots and the development jump over to the official DARPA website by following the link below.