Alcohol-Powered Micro Robot: RoBeetle


Scientists have designed a micro-robot called “RoBeetle”, which has a structure of less than 1 gram. What makes this micro robot unique is that the RoBeetle is powered by methanol, not batteries. Scientists are currently working on making this robot fully functional.

Scientists have built a micro-robot called “RoBeetle” that is just the size of an insect. What makes this micro robot unique is that it works in a way different from what we’ve heard so far. The scientists who developed the robot preferred to get power from alcohol instead of using a battery. RoBeetle, which has a structure of less than 1 gram, works with methanol.

Methanol is a substance used mostly in solvent and antifreeze. However, this alcohol has the ability to hold energy. In fact, methanol has more energy retention than a small battery. As such, scientists who want to evaluate this situation have produced the RoBeetle, which works with methanol. The working principle of this micro robot is also slightly different than its counterparts.

Scientists recently designed artificial muscles that can work just like the real thing. These artificial muscles have the ability to contract and relax. This kind of mechanism is used in RoBeetle. Scientists provide movement to RoBeetle with nickel-titanium alloy wires coated with platinum, which will accelerate the combustion of methanol gas. The heat released as a result of the burning reaction shortens RoBeetle’s legs, and these legs lengthen during cooling. Thanks to this, it moves with RoBeet.

RoBeetle has features bigger than its size. For example, this micro robot can climb uphill and move on surfaces such as concrete and glass. In addition, this micro robot can carry loads up to 2.6 times its own weight if needed. One of the capabilities of RoBeetle is that it has an additional fuel chamber that offers up to 2 hours of use.

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Scientists’ new micro robot is not quite ready for now. Because scientists aren’t quite sure how to use RoBeetle. The experts, who concentrate their studies in this direction, continue their research for the use of the robot in surgeries. However, this situation requires longer usage. At this point, scientists are trying to make RoBeetle more functional by refueling.


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