Festo’s flashy biomimetic robots are kind of glorified tech demos, however that doesn’t imply they aren’t cool. The engineering remains to be one thing to behold, though these robotic critters doubtless received’t be doing any severe work. Its newest models transfer in imitation of two uncommon animals: a tumbling spider and a flying fox (suppose massive bat).
The BionicWheelBot, when strolling, isn’t something we haven’t seen earlier than: hexapodal locomotion has been achieved by numerous roboticists — one current undertaking even tried to capture the spontaneity of an insect’s gait.
However its subsequent trick is new, at the very least when you haven’t watched the Star Wars prequels. It makes use of the legs on either side to kind a wheel and propels itself with the final pair. Helpful for getting downhill or blowing within the wind, as some spiders and bugs in reality do.
It appears to be like as if it may get going fairly quick, and though it appears to me it could be in a repair if knocked over, it had no downside dropping off the top of the desk and rolling on within the Festo video.
The opposite robo-critter is the BionicFlyingFox, modeled on the large fruit bats bearing that title. Like all flying creatures there’s a nice emphasis on lightness and ease, permitting this robotic (like its distant forebear, Festo’s chook) to flap round realistically and keep aloft for a time.
In imitation of the robust however gentle and versatile membrane that types flying mammals’ wings, the Festo bot makes use of a modified elastane materials (form of a super-Spandex) that’s hermetic and received’t crease or rip.
For those who’re fortunate, you may see certainly one of these majestic robeasts demonstrated at a robotics convention in the future.