Video: Frog-Like Robot Is Powered by Methane

Sept. 15, 2023
Cornell researchers tap energy storage that surpasses lithium-ion batteries

A team of researchers at Cornell University has unveiled a frog-like robot that relies on rapid explosions for its agile leaps. Departing from conventional methods involving electric motors and batteries, the team turned to an unexpected power source: methane. This chemical fuel boasts an energy storage density surpassing that of lithium-ion batteries and, remarkably, can be scaled down to accommodate insect-sized devices, according to an article on TechEBlog.

At its core lay two 3D-printed combustion chambers, each weighing 325 milligrams. These chambers employ a duo of electrodes to initiate a spark, setting off a controlled reaction between methane and oxygen. This resulted in a minuscule yet potent explosion, generating an impressive 9.5 newtons of force.

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Traci Purdum, an award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering manufacturing and management issues, is a graduate of the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent, Ohio, and an alumnus of the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

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