This Robot Runs on Alcohol Instead of Batteries

Even batteries tend to become obsolete in 2020, like many other tech stuff. There’s one robot out there that may like alcohol more than everyone, as it’s powered by it and it says no to the traditional batteries and sockets. Another peculiar and fascinating fact is that the robot is the size of an insect and weights less than 1 gram.

More precisely, the tiny robot runs on methanol powering its artificial muscle system. Methanol is a type of alcohol that’s commonly found in solvents.

RoBeetle enters the scene

RoBeetle is its name, and being fueled by alcohol is its game. The little ‘alcoholic’ robot was created by a team from the University of Southern California. RoBeetle uses an artificial muscle system for crawling, climbing, as well as for carrying loads on the back for a maximum of two hours. The creators confirm that their purpose was to create a robot that’s about the same size and weight as insects.

Methanol in the case of the RoBeetle robot stores 10 times more energy than a battery of the same mass. Although the idea sounds ridiculous at first, it seems like it’s far more efficient than anyone suspected. The artificial muscles off the robot are made from a combination of both nickel and titanium alloy wires, a merge that is also known as Nitinol.

However, there’s no use expecting from RoBeetle to do any complex operations like spying on your annoying neighbor and record footage of him. Don’t put faith in the little robot to deliver packages to you in the style of drones, either. RoBeetle is only capable of simple motion, but it can be a first step into developing far more useful robots that are also powered by alcohol.

The invention was detailed in the journal Science Robotics.

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