The Reconfigurable Robotics Laboratory have unveiled a new tiny robot they have created that can be folded up and is capable of walking jumping and crawling using Memory Alloy Springs.
Watch the video below to see the tiny robot in action using its titanium and nickel Memory Alloy Springs. The Phys.org website explains a little more about the construction and features of the tiny robot.
Creating a robot as light as a Swiss 20-centime coin was not easy for the team, which had to overcome several technical challenges. They could not use conventional motors, which are too heavy and bulky. All movement comes from a special kind of actuator and intelligent springs, which are made from shape memory alloy (SMA).
Shape memory alloy – in this case Titanium and Nickel – is capable of “remembering” its initial shape, even after it has been deformed. After deformation, it is possible to make it return to its basic shape by heating it at a certain temperature. Researchers used this principle to generate movement in their ultra light robot. They built actuators made of shape memory alloys to allow locomotion in many directions. In short, movement is induced by thermally activating different parts of the robot.
For more information on the new robot and its very unique way of moving jump over to the Phys.org website for details via the link below.