(CNN) — Picture a robot.
Did you envision a giant machine assembling cars, Data from “Star Trek,” C-3PO from “Star Wars” or “The Terminator”? Most of us would probably think of something massive — or at least human size.
But a whole arm of robotics is focusing on bug-size ‘bots (and smaller).
It’s not just the size of tiny insects that are inspiring roboticists; it’s also the many complex tasks and physical feats that comprise the everyday lives of many fleas, flies and other six-legged creatures.
The question isn’t only how big and powerful we can make a machine, but how small and savvy. What might humans be capable of if we could command a tiny army of simple machines? How could we use robots that could fly, skim across the water, hop to the ceiling and even swarm?