Stanford University is proving there's strength in numbers with its latest experiment.
A team of researchers at the school's Department of Mechanical Engineering has found a way to synchronize six 3.5-ounce robots in such a way that they're able to pull a 3,900-pound car forward. One of the features that allows the robots to move the car is an adhesive, according to a study documenting the group's efforts.
Biomimicry is heavily at play in these tests. The microbot's sticky feet, for example, are modeled after a gecko's, according to the researchers' video. The general concept of using synchronized movement to achieve great power is inspired by ants.
The teams is slated to present their paper, "Let's All Pull Together: Principles for Sharing Large Loads in Microrobot Team," at an international robotics and automation conference in May.