First let’s see what made an inspiration of insects in new development of robots. Insects are considered as the superheroes of the planet as they could perform many special works that human could not do. Their unique features like cockroach moves so faster, normally a cockroach moves 50 of its body length per second and human cannot catch an insect as they fly so precisely. Hence these superheroes are imitated in robotics advancement this is known as biomimetics.
What is Biomimetics?
The characters and properties that are observed from biology are made to use in engineering systems. This is known as biomimetics and this may be new to us but copying characters from nature exists from Stone Age. Copying insect’s character may bring a huge development and much advancement in robotics by achieving tasks that are difficult for humans to perform.
Development of Insect Robots
The recent innovation of miniaturization which means advancement of technology in tiny small size will enable the construction of insect sized small robots for suitable applications. These tiny small constructions are achieved by MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems).
To power some insect robots “elasto dynamic locomotion” is used and piezoelectric actuators which are thin ceramic coated metal plates can bend when power is supplied and it can snap back when power is disconnected. Power is supplied from small batteries that are used in wrist watches.
Top Three main aspects of building an Insect Robot
The three main things need to build complete insect robot are as follows:
Scientists were able to develop a six legged robot but they were not able to achieve the speed in motion. Scientists of the United States from Stanford University have developed a robot called iSprawl which is of 11 centimeters and moves 15 of its body length per second. This is done with the locomotion principle of cockroach.
Sensors are mainly used for navigation like light sensor, sound sensor, heat sensor, etc equipped with insect robots for their navigation. Using GPS (global positioning system) their traveling paths are controlled
For vision cameras are attached with them and monitored by the user.
APPLICATIONS OF INSECT ROBOTS:
- Mainly helpful in intelligence gathering mission.
- These micro flyers are developed for military force where they can carry these tiny weightless robots along with their basic equipments.
Insect Robots main Advantage
Their main advantage is that they have exoskeleton so they do not get damaged easily. They are plentiful, cheaper and easy for maintenance. Their application in military can save life of soldiers. They act as spy and are helpful for humans in many ways.