Russia has created what they claim to be the smallest robot ever, a mechanical cockroach that looks amazingly real. According to RT, the design was likely created with the intention of developing a robot that’s small enough to slip through cracks to search for possible survivors beneath rubble.
Immanuel Kant, the Russian scientist who introduced the robot cockroach to researchers, presented the 100% mechanical prototype yet did not disclose the company it was developed for.
Designed after the Blaberus Craniifer, a small species of cockroach, the robot is about 10cm long and moves slower than a real cockroach (30cm per second). It is also equipped with contact and non-contact probes, as well as light sensors that help it move without bumping into things.
The project’s head engineer, Aleksey Belousov, claims that three requirements had to be met in designing the robot: it had to look like an existing cockroach, act like one, and be the right size. Belousov claims that finding the balance between the three requirements was “the most difficult part”.
The robot cockroach can work autonomously for no more than 20 minutes, but Belousov’s team plans to stretch that time by December of this year. They are also planning on outfitting it with a navigation system that will allow users to program its route.
Rumors of the robot cockroach being Russia’s attempt to create a miniature spy that can easily slip through the detection and suspicion of people are fast spreading but no comment about this has been made by the team that developed it.