A Washington State University engineer’s robotic beetle, which weighs about the same as three grains of rice, earned a Guinness World Record as the lightest crawling robot.
Nestor O. Perez-Arancibia, a Flaherty associate professor in engineering in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, created the Robeetle, an ethanol-powered, beetle-like robot that uses air flow and pneumatics for movement in lieu of electronics.
Perez-Arancibia’s robot, which was featured on the cover of Science Robotics, was certified by Guinness World Records as the lightest crawling robot, weighing in at 88 milligrams — or .003 ounces — the same as about three grains of rice.
The robot, which is approximately the same size as a real beetle, can climb slopes, navigate various types of surfaces and transport objects up to 2.6 times its own weight.
Perez-Arancibia said his goal is to use robots to solve engineering problems by mimicking the abilities of natural creatures.