DROID OF THE WEEK: THE WEIGHT LIFTER
Engineers at Stanford University have come up with robots that may be tiny, but can lift 100 times their own weight.
One of the bots is barely a centimetre long, and weighs just 9 grams, and yet it can lift more than a kilogram. Another can pull 2,000 times its own weight.
The tiny strongbots are inspired by two animals: the gecko and the inchworm. The sticky feet of the gecko allows them to cling to vertical surfaces and climb, so the engineers used a sticky material for the bots to let them climb and pull.
Inchworms were used as the model for how the bots move. One foot moves forward, while the other foot stays back and supports the load that it is lifting, like two people carrying a sofa down steps.