The first apparently successful tests of GhostSwimmer, this robot designed for the U.S. Navy shark-shaped highlight multiple created robots on the models of animals. Because this stealth submarine drone, designed by Boston Engineering, is only one of the last Scion of a family of bio-inspired robot already very supplied. At this robotics, obviously bestiary mules of Boston Dynamics, the Cheetah from MIT, but as well other weird animals that have served as model for the roboticists. Diving in the futuristic zoo of animal robots.
The roboticists are not only interested to Humanoids
In the collective imagination, when talking about robot, known as humanoid robots and many researchers have worked on robot standing. There are already many on the market, from simple toys to the more sophisticated models. From this point of view, few groups research one reaches such mastery that Honda, whose casting approach of the latest versions of its ASIMO remained unmatched.
Nevertheless, side of this research on the human market, many are those who work on anatomy animal, more suitable or effective than humans to run fast, climb obstacles or move in confined spaces, its talk of the flight.
The animal robot best-known today is probably the Boston Dynamics ‘Big Dog’. Created for the U.S. Army, this large quadruped robot must play the role of “mule” for the soldiers, wearing their package whatever the terrain. Seen evolve from time to time during the U.S. major drawback of the ‘Big Dog’ army, the engine 2 time which he is equipped to power its systems in hydraulic pressure. Stalled at 9,000 rpm, this big lawn mower engine made an uproar of hell and therefore indicates the position of the Group of soldier all insurgents in the round. The ‘Big Dog’ LS3 wholesale is not the only “animal” has be released Boston Dynamics Lab. His little brother, the ‘Little Dog’ has the size of a chihuahua and can wander among the rocks for about thirty minutes thanks to its lithium polymer batteries. A solution “all electric” quieter than his elder hydraulics. Another demonstrator developed by the United States with researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Lewis and Clark University, the RiSE, set insect 6-legged, mi lizard, this robot can climb vertically on a wall or a tree trunk.
Another research team very active in this field of robots inspired by nature, the Biomimetic Robotics Lab at MIT. Version 1 of its Cheetah could run on a treadmill 22 km/h and jump obstacles of 30 cm in height. Its evolution 2 embeds now its batteries and little Frolic without fil à la patte on the campus of MIT. The top speed of the Cheetah visibly inspired many researchers since Boston Dynamics had also developed a robot Cheetah, u robot which had reached a record speed of 45.54 km/h, a robot faster than Usain Bolt…
More unusual, some roboticists looked at the case of worms and other snakes. Certainly these are much slower, however is a particularly interesting pattern to go wear sensors in very difficult places of access, particularly in tubes. British OC Robotics so specializes in robots used snakes, among others, in the nuclear industry. Research continues in this direction, including the laboratory of biorobotics University of Carnegie Mellon led by Professor Howie Choset, developing robots modular snake, it means to which you can add standard ‘links’, depending on the need. Its robots are particularly impressive to climb trees or in perfectly smooth-walled pipes. The prize for the most bizarre robot however goes to the pneumatic starfish, invented by researchers at Harvard. Virtually indestructible, it can crawl through the flames or in the snow to rescue a human being in a bad position. This “soft” Robotics risk of giving birth to a good strange bestiary in the years to come.
Insects, an inexhaustible breeding tank for researchers
In the animal world, another great source of inspiration for the roboticists are found in insects. Mechanically simpler to emulate than large mammals, insects are also characterized by their physical performance out of the ordinary. Example of simplicity, the DASH (Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod) of the University of California, Berkeley. This cockroach 6-legged is characterized by great simplicity of its market that requires no balance control. Result, the DASH weighs that 16 grams and few even move upside down with Velcro at the end of his paws. Another aspect interesting insect: the simplicity and effectiveness of the mechanics of his flight. By transposing the movement of the wings of a fly, it is possible to create ultra light with a stunning size drones. The Institute researchers are working on RoboBees, flying robots about the size of a coin and that could move in myriads to search for survivors of a large-scale disaster or to pollinate the fields when the bees have disappeared…
The birds thrills the audience, but what applications for a robot bird?
The recent success of the Bionic Bird project who has managed to raise $15.5361 on Indiegogo crowdfunding site against a $25,000 expected demonstrates the interest shown by the general public for crow flies drones. This bird controlled by smartphone will be released in 2015.
Festo, provider of automation systems is is already rubbed the mechanical flight, with its SmartBird, a large articulated bird unveiled in 2011, but without commercial intent. With this robotic Seagull, this constructor is not his first attempt. Recently, industry had unveiled a BionicKangaroo Kangaroo, after to be interested at the Penguin, fish, or jellyfish yet.
In marine robots, the shark “GhostSwimmer” of the U.S. Navy is far from unique. The school of computer science and electronics from the University of Essex unveiled a robot fish. The University of Essex is involved in the European project SHOAL, alongside the port of Gijón, Thales, University of Strathclyde, the Tyndall National Institute and BMT Group. Their goal is to create patches of robotic fish that are able to analyze the water and identify the sources of marine pollution.
Translation : Bing Translator
“Indestructible Starfish Robots Could Save Your Life One Day“, Popular Mechanics, September 9, 2014
“Bioinspired drones of the future”, KurzwailAI, May 25, 2014
“Bio-Inspired Robots”, California Academy of Sciences, May 8, 2013
“Bioinspired Robotics”, The Wyss Institute, Harvard
“Bio-Bots: 9 Wild Nature-Mimicking Machines”, Popular Mechanics