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Engineers Created Multi-Legged Robots That Mimic the Behavior of Ants

Robots that act like ants. PHOTO - University of Notre Dame.
Robots that act like ants.

Robotics engineers at the University of Notre Dame have created multi-footed robots capable of cooperative behavior in complex environments. This modern robots can successfully navigate rugged terrain and get to difficult places.

Engineers have printed robot ant parts using 3D printing

The size of the robots reaches 20 centimeters. The small four-legged constructions can communicate with each other and solve problems together. The parts of the device were printed using a 3D printer.

The designers equipped the mechanical insects with a lithium polymer battery, a microprocessor, magnetic touch sensors on the front and back, and a light sensor on the front.

Each device has four flexible legs that help it navigate over difficult surfaces. According to the scientists, the robots on the legs are able to move in difficult conditions, including hard-to-reach places. The limbs are used to effectively support the body.

The author of the paper is engineer and professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering Yasemin Ozkan-Aydın. The research is published in the journal Science Robotics.

Four flexible legs in the devices helped reduce the need for additional sensors and parts. They gave the robots a kind of mechanical intelligence. This was helpful when dealing with uneven or rough terrain.

According to the developers, the results obtained will enable the future development of low-cost ground robot swarms that can easily adapt to different events and perform cooperative tasks in the real world. 

For example, they can be used in search and rescue operations, space exploration and environmental monitoring.

Swarm Robotics Videos

Real-world 3D swarm: grounded robot swarms directed by a UAV


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