At 1/4 cubic inch in volume and a weight of less than 1 ounce, these mini-robots being developed by Sandia National Labs may be some of the smallest autonomous untethered robots in existence. They’re powered by 3 watch batteries, and have tracked drive systems, an 8K ROM processor, a temperature sensor, and optionally a miniature camera, microphone, communication system, and chemical micro-sensor. The bodies of the robots are created through rapid-prototyping and are mostly constrained by the size of the batteries required to power them (meaning that they’ll shrink further with improvements in battery technology). With a top speed of only 20 inches per minute, each bot may not be able to get very far very fast, but they’re designed to be used in swarms to accomplish larger and more complex tasks. Video of the mini-bot driving over loose change after the jump.
Sandia Mini-Robot Turns On Dime, Parks On Nickel - [Link]