Milidelts: A Penny-Sized Robotic Insect

Milidelts is probably the world’s smallest robot being just the size of a coin. It is a combination of commendable precision along with unbelievable high speed and not to forget it’s cute looks!

The speed measures up to 75 motions per second (it appears blurry on a camera) and the bot consists of a motor in the central base station (unlike many other industrial robots that have motors in the joints).

TECHGYO_ Milidelts wolrd's smallest device
Image Courtesy: IEEE Spectrum

The Milidelt acquires three-arms like structure sequenced in a triangular form. Lightweight materials are used for making Milidelts which enables less force for its movements.

Science Robotics Robert Wood’s team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute developed this technology for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Each piece of technology that’s engineered has been inspired by origami and pop-up books after which micro-fabrication approach was found in 2011. Pop-up MEMS were made of sheets of composite materials.

Woods said, “The physics of scaling told us that bringing down the size of Delta robots would increase their speed and acceleration, and pop-up MEMS manufacturing with its ability to use any material or combination of materials seemed an ideal way to attack this problem.”

The invention of delta robots took place back in 1980’s. This technology was initially involved in picking up things from the conveyer belt and positioning itself in its defined place.

Uses of Milidelts

The capability of this device ranges from collecting and positioning itself on a small scale. Delicate medical operations can also be assisted with the help of this device according to the researchers. Its size is ideal to assemble the parts of computer boards. And the device placed on it at the end of surgical tool cancels out natural trembles of surgeon’s hands.


The device measures 15 millimeters by 15 millimeters which is actually equal to the size of a coin or an insect.

The researchers see this fly-sized robot as an addition to the current devices which can also be developed as a standalone bot.

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(Featured Image Courtesy: Digital Trends)

Milidelts: A Penny-Sized Robotic Insect 1
Megha Kottapalli
Megha is a Technology writer.

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