From fish to dogs, numerous robotic versions of animals have been developed over the years. Now, scientists from Beijing Institute of Technology have announced the newest animal robot – the robotic mouse.
The robot, dubbed SQuRo (small-size quadruped robotic rat, or small quadruped robot mouse) can crouch, stand, walk, crawl and turn like a real mouse and can even carry loads. 91% of its own weight.
The team hopes that SQuRo could be useful in search and rescue missions because its small body helps it weave through narrow gaps.
According to the researchers, the mouse is the main source of inspiration for many robot developers.
The team explains: “The burrowing mice have attracted scientists because of their unparalleled agility and adaptability. A lot of experimentation has been done to try to mimic the morphological features or movement of the mouse.”
Rats are adept at getting through tight spaces thanks to their elongated bodies and agility. To develop SQuRo, the researchers looked at the bodies and movements of mice, building a long and flexible mechanical backbone, just like real mice.
It can perform various movements such as bending and standing up, walking, crawling, turning and can even get up after falling.
And in the field tests, the SQuRo was able to traverse an uneven 9cm-wide walkway, overcome 2.7cm-high obstacles and climb a 15-degree slope.
The researchers said: “SQuRo can achieve stable motion even after carrying a load equal to 91% of its own weight, which proves its superior carrying capacity compared to other small quadrupedal robots.”
The team hopes the mouse could be used to aid in search and rescue missions. The robot is expected to be put into use in 2025.