Kristian Lum
An illustration of the researchers’ microscopic robot.
Too small to see with the naked eye, this illustration shows the robot’s components: a circuitboard that serves as its torso and brain, platinum strips with rigid panels that serve as jointed legs, and photovoltaic panels that cause the legs to flex when hit with a laser.

Microscopic images of the researchers’ robot flexing its legs and crawling.
The researchers’ microscopic robots have strips of platinum only a few atoms thick that serve as legs. Shining a laser on a photovoltaic panel on the robot’s back provides voltage that causes one pair of legs to flex. Alternating between the panels allows the robot to crawl.

Penn Engineering

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