To prove robots are nimble, we shove them around with a hockey stick. To prove they are swift, we attach them to a speeding treadmill. And now to prove they know there is no "I" in team, we turn them into the mechanical versions of the creatures I find in my sink. To the future!
Scientists at University of California Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have taught two VelociRoACHs — or bug-like millirobots — how to climb a step through the power of teamwork, the Verge reported. According to the video, the team hopes the mechanized creepy-crawlers will near the "locomotion capability" of an Australian jumping ant.
Thanks to a "tethered magnetic connector," the dynamic duo can help pull each other up the step, according to the study. This allows them to climb a taller step than they could have if they tried alone.
The hope is that these tiny bug-like bots will aid in search and rescue in the event of a disaster, the study notes, since an army of roboroaches can venture into a collapsed building where humans might not be able to safely navigate.