MA Graule et al., / Science
MA Graule et al., / Science

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard University Visa Institute have developed a contact pad for robots, which allows them to adhere to various surfaces with the help of electrical adhesion. The article is published in  Science .

On the upper part of the robot, the authors attached an electrostatic contact pad on an elastic base. The weight of the installed structure is 13.4 milligrams, which is less than 15 percent of the mass of the robocopy itself. When the voltage is applied to the contact pad, the robot sticks to the surface due to electrostatic attraction.

According to the authors, the easily deformable polyurethane base of the site allows to approach the landing surface at different angles, and not only strictly perpendicular, which is important for potential practical application in the future. At the same time, the robot is able to stick to different surfaces – the researchers successfully planted the roboche on steel, copper, glass, plywood, red brick and plant leaves.

Робопчела has been created by experts of Institute of the Visa in 2013. A miniature robot weighs less than one hundred milligrams and flies, flapping wings at a frequency of 120 hertz. Later, the developers taught the robocopler not only to fly, but also to swim underwater, flapping wings with a frequency of nine hertz. Because of the strength of the surface tension of the water and the low weight of the robot, it can not immerse itself in the water itself, so it has to literally crash into the surface of the water. In the future, it is planned to develop a miniature lidar for robots and to solve the problem of autonomous feeding.