Robots usually look like humans and animals – meaning that they are inspired by the natural world. Human engineers usually look at the living systems to have some clues on how to come up with good designs. These clues range from emulating an insect brain or even coming up with a robot that has a bacterial stomach which produces electricity.
Engineers have to think of how the natural world was designed compared with how they want their robots to function. Animals easily adapt to new environment; thus, robot designers want their creatures to be similarly capable. The following are some great features about animal-inspired robotics.
- When turkeys’ strut, their muscles usually act as shock absorbers meant to boost energy. The lightweight contraption is made of a spring and a clutch which act as their user’s calf muscle.
- Though it has a brain the Lamprey, an eel, does not need it. Neurons located in this creature’s spinal cord are thought to act independently through some signals known as the central pattern generator or the CPG. Amphibot is a slithering machine which was inspired by Lamprey. The machine is thought to have 10 body modules each having its onboard computer almost similar to the CPG.
- Cockroaches have the ability to react only once in 50 seconds. They also have the ability to skitter 25 body lengths in one second. This is equivalent to a car traveling at 280mph. In a certain test, a cockroach survived being squished by a mechanical press which was 900 times its body weight. This invincible bug is a type of crushable robot which was made from a laminated paper which only weighed 50 grams. It can easily squeeze into crevices which are half its height. This shows that the robot can easily be used in search and rescue missions.