Here is a micro-robot that can mimic the adhesive motion of nails to crawl over obstacles and climb vertical walls. Researchers at the University of Warsaw used liquid crystal elastomer to build this 10mm long soft robot. This snail bot can harvest energy from a laser beam.
The robot can craw a few mm per minute. As Piotr Wasylczyk, head of the Photonic Nanostructure Facility at the Faculty of Physics of the University of Warsaw, Poland, explains:
Despite the slow speed, need of constant lubrication and low energy efficiency, our elastomer soft robot offers unique insights into micromechanics with smart materials and may also provide a convenient platform for studying adhesive locomotion