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Wednesday 4 October 2023 Dublin: 12°C
bdmlstanford/YouTube That's not some weird rake underneath the car. That's a team of micobots pulling it.
# Tug of War
Look at these microbots pulling a car all by themselves
Each one weighs 100 grams and can pull objects over 2,000 times its own weight.

RESEARCHERS WERE ABLE to develop microbots that can pull a car that can weigh more than 1,800 kg in a particular direction.

The microbots, which were developed by Stanford University, weigh 100 grams and can pull objects over 2,000 times their own weight, 200kg in layman terms. A group of six were able to pull the car.

The researchers based the research on ants, which can lift up over 100 times its own weight and how small things can move large objects.

After experimenting with different microbots moving at different speeds, they found that solution was to use long, slow and steady winching gait, allowing them to demonstrate near-perfect teamwork and pull objects far greater than their size.

Helping them was a special adhesive influenced by geckos, the microbots were given sticky feet allowing them to gain traction and pull an object heavier than themselves.

microbots pul car bdmlstanford / YouTube bdmlstanford / YouTube / YouTube

The process is incredibly slow – the video of them pulling the car is playing at 20 times its normal speed –  but the researchers found that the ants can exert such force by each using three of their six legs simultaneously.

Speaking to the New York Times, one of the researchers said the demonstration was the functional equivalent of a team of six humans moving a weight equivalent of that of the Eiffel Tower.

The team will be presenting its paper on the microbots at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Stockholm this May.

Read: Watching this drone race is a lot like riding a neon-lit rollercoaster >

Read: An expert in batteries explains why your phone won’t last longer than a day >

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