The German automation company Festo has a history of making robotic versions of wildlife. He had previously built a kangaroo, an elephant trunk and ants, and now a rolling and rolling robot spider has emerged, as well as a robotic flying fox, as IEEE Spectrum saw it.
If the idea of a rolling spider seems terrible, let me consolidate your fears and make sure that this robot is based on the real flic-flac spider, which lives in the Sahara and escapes the predators with cartwheels and cartwheels. Bionics teacher Ingo Rechenberg, who discovered the flic-flac spider, participated in the design of the Festo version. It has eight legs that are controlled by 15 engines inside the joints of the knee and body. When he rolls, he somersaults with his entire body, sticking six of the legs and using the remaining two to push the ground with each rotation. Thanks to an integrated inertial sensor, the robot knows its position and when to push while rolling.
Festo has also created a bionic flying fox, something that required a bit of thought when creating the wings. "The flying membrane of the model is thin as a wafer and ultralight while robust," says Festo. "It consists of two watertight films and a woven elastane fabric, which are welded together at approximately 45,000 stitches, due to its elasticity, it remains almost without increase, even when the wings are retracted." The honeycomb structure of the fabric prevents that the small cracks in the flying membrane enlarge, which means that BionicFlyingFox can continue flying even if the fabric suffers minor damage. " The flying fox can move semi-autonomously in a defined space communicating with a movement tracking system that constantly records its position.
Like Boston Dynamics' SpotMini, these types of robots exist not only to terrify and delight, but also to test complex navigation situations, whether by opening a door, crossing rocky terrains or learning efficient flight routes. That said, I never want to think of a spider doing acrobatics towards me ever again.