combining micrometer precision with high speed – researchers at harvard have created the millidelta, arguably the smallest robot of its kind as well as the fastest and most precise. the little device is an evolution of a ‘delta robot’, and can move so quickly (up to 75 motions a second to be precise) that on camera it’s just a blur.

all images courtesy of wyss institute 



designed in the 1980s, delta robots use three individually controlled and lightweight arms that guide a platform to move fast and accurately in three directions. the platform is either used as a stage, or coupled to a manipulating device that can, for example, grasp, move, and release objects in prescribed patterns. these type of bots are deployed in many industrial processes including pick-and-place assemblies – like putting chocolates into boxes.

the robot accelerates at 22g (g-force)



the newly designed millidelta uses the same technology but with shrunken components. rather than being powered by electric motors, it uses piezoelectric actuators which respond to electric voltage by shrinking or expanding. at 15mmx 15mm x 20mm, the mini delta has a payload capacity of over 3X its mass.