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Science & Technology

Spider-inspired robot can both walk and roll

By T.K. Randall
March 30, 2018 · Comment icon 7 comments



The robot is able to both walk and somersault around. Image Credit: Festo
A company in Germany has developed an impressive spider-like robot that has a unique way of getting around.
Developed by German multinational industrial control and automation company Festo, the aptly-named 'BionicWheelBot' is based on the movements of the flic-flac spider - an unusual desert species that is able to propel itself along through a combination of somersaulting and rolling on the ground.

The robot is the brainchild of Professor Ingo Rechenberg who encountered the spider in the Sahara in 2008 and was so intrigued by its unique form of locomotion that he integrated it into the robot's design.
"Since its discovery, Professor Rechenberg has been working on transferring its movement patterns to the technical field," the company wrote. "The studies into the spider's behavior led to the design of various robots that can propel themselves on difficult terrain."

The robot itself works by only using six of its eight legs to walk while the other two remain folded up. To roll, it can then fold up its main legs in to a wheel shape and use the other two to propel itself along.

A video demonstrating the device in action can be viewed below.



Source: Tech Xplore | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Herr Falukorv 5 years ago
was it filmed in slowmotion? Or was it actually that slow.. Cool design and it seems to be the new trend to watch and learn by nature.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Daughter of the Nine Moons 5 years ago
@Still Waters I do not approve of this  
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sundew 5 years ago
I see a future in space exploration, like Martian landscapes. Rolling down slight inclines would be a huge savings of energy as opposed to climbing up and climbing back down like a wheeled vehicle. Battery power is always a problem with devices like this, perhaps it could be fitted with solar cells to recharge. Having to return to a base station would severely limit its range. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by ChaosRose 5 years ago
I understand the coolness factor, but it is still too spiderlike for my personal taste.  Still too leggy.  Nope.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Summerin1905 5 years ago
spider bot spider bot does whatever spiderbot does.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Still Waters 5 years ago
I thought it was filmed in real time. It seems to be able to move slow or fast depending on what it's doing at the time.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Hankenhunter 5 years ago
It probably moves slow to save wear and tear on the joints. I'm a big fan of spiders so I approve. Now if they could copy jumping spiders.... Hank


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