EVANSTON, Illinois (Storyful/KFOR) – Smaller than a flea, engineers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois have created a tiny crab, calling it “the smallest-ever remote-controlled walking robot.”

“Why,” you may ask? Northwestern researchers believe the miniscule crabs could eventually be used to perform practical tasks in the tight spaces – even inside the human body.

Measuring just a half-millimeter, the crab can “bend, twist, crawl, walk, turn, and jump.”

“You might imagine micro-robots as agents to repair or assemble small structures or machines in industry or as surgical assistants to clear clogged arteries, to stop internal bleeding or to eliminate cancerous tumors – all in minimally invasive procedures,” said John A. Rogers, who led the experimental work.

The researchers also developed millimeter-sized robots resembling inchworms, crickets and beetles.