Festo unveils a pair of insect-inspired robots

Atmel | Bits & Pieces


These robotic ants and butterflies act like the real things.

Well, it looks like Festo’s bionic dragonfly and kangaroo are getting two new siblings. That’s because the German company has introduced the latest addition to its growing family of animal-inspired robots: an ant and a butterfly.

For the first time, the cooperative behaviour of the creatures is also transferred to the world of technology using complex control algorithms. (Source: Festo) The cooperative behavior of the real-life creatures is transferred to tech world using complex control algorithms. (Source: Festo)

First, the aptly named BionicANTS are designed to cooperatively operate. In other words, as a whole they can complete complex tasks, such as move larger objects, head to a specific location or conduct their own flash mob if they’d really like. Each 5.3-inch BionicANT is comprised of various components that are laser-sintered and finished with visible conductor structures and electrical circuits attached to its exterior.

The artificial ants can solve a complex task together working as an overall networked system. (Source: Festo) The artificial ants can solve a complex task together working as an overall networked system. (Source: Festo)

A majority of the ant’s frame, as well as the electronic circuits located on the outside of its body, is 3D-printed. A radio…

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