Insect-inspired robots are almost here. They can jump and fly

WION Web Team New York, New York, United States of America Sep 26, 2020, 03.31 PM(IST)

Insect-inspired robots Photograph:( Others )

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Each unit is completely autonomous, but they can communicate and thereby work together via a simple transmitter.

A new class of robots is almost out.

This class would not be massive -- as traditional robots are -- but would be the size of a bug.

A whole arm of robotics is focussing on bug-size bots.

These bots will be able to glide, flip and hover. And will be adept at performing many complex functions.

They are being developed at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

These tiny robots would be useful in medical applications -- for targetted drug delivery or simple surgeries without incisions. Miniature robots could also save lives in dangerous places like minefields, or during search and rescue.

Small robots that can work together, like ants or bees do, would also be ideal for exploring other planets like Mars, again keeping humans away from risky, unexplored situations:

Ants have been their inspiration.

In the natural world, trap-jaw ants do all the ant things — and they can also snap their powerful jaws at the incredible speed of 90 miles per hour to jump away from predators. 

Same mechanics have been used to help give the robots a variety of movements, including "vertical jumping for height, horizontal jumping for distance, somersault jumping to clear obstacles, walking on textured terrain and crawling on flat surfaces," according to the paper's abstract.

Each unit is completely autonomous, but they can communicate and thereby work together via a simple transmitter.

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