Controlling Robots Smaller than a Flea

Northwestern University engineers have developed the smallest-ever remote-controlled walking robot. The tiny crabs can also bend, twist, turn, and jump — all without complex hardware, hydraulics, or electricity. The team aims to use them in tight spaces — even the human body. Learn more about the mechanisms used to make the robots go.

“Our technology enables a variety of controlled motion modalities and can walk with an average speed of half its body length per second,” said Yonggang Huang , who led the theoretical work. “This is very challenging to achieve at such small scales for terrestrial robots.”