Robotic crystals that
walk n’ roll

Scientists at Waseda University have developed robotic crystals that walk slowly like an inchworm and roll 20,000 times faster than its walking speed. These autonomously moving, organic crystals have great potential as material for soft robots in the future, especially in the medical field.

“The crystals are flexible, durable and lightweight,” says Hideko Koshima, a visiting professor at Waseda’s Research Organization for Nano & Life Innovation. “They could possibly be used as material for microrobots which transport substances in the microscopic region, for instance, carrying egg cells for infertility treatment or conducting invasive surgery.”

Their study was published in Nature Communications on February 7, 2018.