The lightweight robotic beetle invented by an engineer at the Washington State University recently earned a Guinness World Record.

Called the "Robeetle," this invention weighs roughly the same as three grains of rice. It is awarded the prestigious world record as the lightest crawling robot ever developed.

According to a UPI report, Flaherty, associated professor in engineering Nestor Perez-Arancibia, from the School of Mechanical Materials Engineering, developed Robeetle, a beetle-like robot powered by ethanol, uses airflow and pneumatics to be able to move in replacement for electronics.

Perez-Arancibia, who has recently been part of the School of MME, shared he is excited to bring on new students to his program who like tinkering "and have a good imagination." He also said he's hoping these students come knocking on his door.

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Science Times - Robot Beetle Now Part of the Guinness Book of World Records; The Lightest Crawling Robot Ever Invented
(Photo: Pranit Modak on Wikimedia Commons)
3 servo hexapod robot inspired by the original locomotion of beetle

Meet 'Robeetle'

Featured in the Science Robotics' cover, Robeetle is an 88-milligram robot with a weight roughly the same as three grains of rice and not much larger than an actual beetle.

In a similar report, Science said, Robeetle, being the lightest crawling robot ever invented, is extraordinarily powered by methanol's catalytic combustion. It has the ability to climb slopes, traverse through surfaces, and drag objects weighing a maximum of 2.6 times its own.

A fundamental element that's making the proposed method possible is feedback control of the catalytic ignition process, according to a scheme in which the sporadic deformation of the SMA material is used to sense temperature indirectly through the use of an identified prototype of the wire's hysteretic dynamics, as well as, to open and close synchronously the microvalves that modify the fuel's flow.

Consequently, the controller is applied onboard using only mechanical components implanted in the artificial muscle mechanism.

This control tactic allows the RoBeetle self-governing operation in a sustained way, which is this system's most unique characteristic with respect to other mechanisms "powered by HED sources," the study, An 88-milligram insect-scale autonomous crawling robot driven by a catalytic artificial muscle, published in Science Robotics, specified.

The Engineer Behind 'Robeetle'

According to a WSU Insider report, Perez-Arancibia is hoping his robots, including the Robeetle, can sometimes solve complicated engineering problems by mimicking talented creatures such as mice and squid, among others, that can flawlessly squeeze themselves into tight places like liquid.

Biology, specifically insects, can still exceed their robotic equivalents in nearly every aspect, although the engineer hopes to develop robots in the next 10 years that are substantially better at emulating natural systems.

Perez-Arancibia is from the University of Southern California who comes to WSU. It's at the WSU where, for several years, he founded and directed the Autonomous Microrobitic System Laboratory. During his stint at USC, he was an adviser to and was able to graduate seven Ph.D. students, and most of his research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was also a postdoctoral fellow in the Microrobotics Laboratory and the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.

With interest in a great range of subjects, he first started to work in robotics while at Harvard. He has enjoyed studying robotics since it has enabled him to learn about the natural world and biology while solving intricate engineering challenges.

Report about the Robeetle is shown on Mashable's YouTube below:


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