How hard is it to kill this robot cockroach?

Answer: Almost impossible.

by / August 7, 2019
Red-yellow cockroach on wood Shutterstock.com/luis2499

Inspired by the real-life version, this cockroach-like robot is small, quick and difficult to squash. Each robot is 1/3 centimeters long and weighs between 20 milligrams to 65 milligrams. It can withstand about 132 pounds of pressure without being damaged, which is about 1 million times its body weight. It can also move at speeds of up to 20 body lengths per minute, close to the speed of its biological counterpart.

The UC Berkeley research team that developed the robot is currently working on adding a battery and air sensor to it, which is no small feat considering its size and indestructibility. They envision it being used in scenarios where humans cannot enter a space, like collapsed rubble from a disaster. It could wriggle into small spaces and test the air for toxic gases and potentially locate survivors.

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