These are tiny robots. And they are awesome.

These are tiny robots. And they are awesome.

These are tiny robots. And they are awesome.

No one said building tiny robots was easy. But the payoff? Huge.

Inspired by the strength, speed, and agility of insects, Sarah Bergbreiter, a Clark School faculty member from 2008–2018, engineers robotic systems at sub-millimeter size scales. Microrobots could be used to help avoid catastrophic collapses by inspecting bridges and other large infrastructure, or deployed in search scenarios after a natural disaster such as an earthquake. In effect, robots the size of an ant could go where humans can’t or shouldn’t—accessing tight spaces, operating under various weather and safety conditions, and autonomously executing tasks for long periods of time—to help save lives.

Engineering robotic systems on such a small scale, however, comes with an enormous set of challenges. How do you create mechanisms such as legs that allow a sub-millimeter-scale robot to traverse rough terrain at high speeds? How do you build lightweight motors to support that locomotion? And how do you develop sensing systems that enable a tiny robot to estimate its condition and environment?

Watch the video above to learn more.

Are you are a member of the media interested in connecting with a robotics engineer at the University of Maryland? Please email: clark-communications@umd.edu

Related Articles:
Elizabeth Childs Lands Knight-Hennessy Scholarship
Microrobots soon could be seeing better, say UMD faculty in Science Robotics
It takes a swarm: These robots talk to each other, make decisions as a group
Feathers Not Included
NASA’s ASRS an Effective Tool for Improving Unmanned Aviation Safety
Fire Protection Engineers Track a Different Kind of "Superspreader"
Rachel Suitor aboard NGS/NOAA expedition in Gulf of Mexico
Xu, Castano Recognized for Work on UAS Collision Avoidance
UMD Takes Second in VFS Design-Build-Vertical-Flight Competition
Three ECE Professors Ranked Top Scientists in the World by Guide2Research

August 21, 2018


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

Alumnus David Bader Receives 2021 Sidney Fernbach Award

In Memoriam: John William Fritz (‘17, electrical engineering)

UMD research team creates ‘switchable’ adhesive for repairing cuts and tears in tissue

Torrents Awarded Ben Dyer Centennial Chair

Improving Access to Cervical Cancer Diagnostic and Therapeutics Tech

Kollár Receives NSF MRI Grant to Enhance Micro/Nanofabrication Initiatives 

UMD Mechanical Engineering Advances in Rankings

Liangbing Hu’s HighT-Tech Wins 2021 Spinoff Prize

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar