Robotics has seriously taken to insects as inspiration for robots. Miniaturization technology too has effectively contributed to their cause. To add some intelligent microbots, inspired by the swarm of biological insects, to the long list of these robots, a conglomerate of researchers in Europe are developing ‘microbots’ under the project I-SWARM (intelligent small-world autonomous robots for micro-manipulation), for application ranging from surveillance to micro-manufacturing and from medicine to cleaning and more.
The technique of building an entire robot on a single circuit board is a novelty in case of the I-SWARM. This would keep the size of the bots to nothing bigger than a flea. To achieve the small form, researchers are using a special conductive adhesive to attach the components to a double-sided PCB, instead of soldering them on, like done previously.
Wearing a small solar panel to produce about 3.7V power and infrared sensors for intra-communication, these microbots that’ll someday be mass-produced out in swarms, move on three vibrating legs and carry a fourth vibrating leg that acts as a touch sensor.