SOMIRO is a Horizon 2020 funded project that will develop and demonstrate the world’s first energy-autonomous swimming milli-robot with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of farming in terms of carbon footprint, eutrophication and excessive use of pesticides and feed.
These swimming milli-robots would cover a much larger area than stationary systems and they could be rapidly deployed and self-redistribute where most needed. They may serve as a stand-alone monitoring solution for indoor farming or complement drone-based remote sensing outdoors. Until today, no other energy autonomous milli-robot has been demonstrated capable to withstand hours of continuous operation. The major reason is power limitation: locomotion requires much power and small robots have very limited energy storage and energy uptake.
Our goal is that the SOMIRO millirobots should reach sizes down to 10 mm long and look like the flatworms in the ocean. They will show that
soft and stretchable systems require much less energy for movement than other robots of comparable size. To power, they will not rely on any dedicated energy infrastructure but only on natural sunlight.