Robotic Insects Could DASH to the Rescue

The Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod (DASH) is being outfitted to locate victims that are trapped in rubble.  RobotNext posted a blog on this invention back in October 2009.  This is a cockroach-inspired robot that can move quickly and speedily like its model.  Also, like its insect model, it can fall great distances and survive to run again.  You can see the video on You Tube of this robo-roach in action.  Check out the story below for the complete story.

motorcrawler roachbot

Credit:  Biomimetic Millisystems Lab and UC Berkeley via ZDnet

Paul Birkmeyer, the graduate student who designed the robots, shows his creation. Researchers are trying to add cameras and detectors that can locate people's breath. DASH (Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod) is a resilient high-speed 16-gram …

Robotic Insects Could Help In Search, Rescue Efforts – Daily Californian
(author unknown)
Fri, 22 Jan 2010 09:05:00 GMT

Phasma the Insect Robot

Here is a story about an insect-modeled robot that runs like a real bug.  It is a bot that mimics the gait of an insect, if not the appearance.  When you look at the motion of this machine on a video, you will be amazed at the realism of the movements.  Phasma is based on iSprawl developed at BDML, Stanford University, USA.  The two machines have very similar insectoid motions.  If you click on the link for iSprawl, you can see it in action.  If you want to read more, then go to the Takram link in the next sentence. The following from the Takram Design Engineering website explains the background of this robot’s development in a very succinct way:  “Phasma is a hexapedal running robot that can run dynamically like a living organism. It is an attempt to depict life purely through its motion rather than its shape, by extracting the physics of running from living things and implementing that to the artifact. Phasma uses compliant components such as stainless steel springs and rubber joints to reproduce smooth and efficient locomotion seen in animals. Another interesting biomimicry applied in Phasma is the alternating tripod gait as seen in insects that provides excellent stability.”  Visit the link below or click on the photograph for more details.


Photo credit:  Takashi Mochizuki

… insectile robot reminds me of the running motion made by the CGI-based spider surveillance assistant robots from Stephen Spielberg's 2002 movie Minority Report : ( Minority Report spider robot swarm ) Fans of Michael Crichton's 1985 movie Runaway …

Phasma Insect Robot Runs Like A Bug
Thu, 27 Aug 2009 13:20:39 GMT

Robotic Insect “Flies” Off Vibrations

Flying robot insects are the subject of some intense research into exactly how they are able to accomplish their aerial feats.  A researcher at Arizona State University, Michele Milano, is investigating how a robofly flies.  Check out this video of his “flying brick”.  (You need Microsoft Media Player to see this.)  Also, look at this robot fly from the Harvard Microrobotics Lab to see what started this line of research.

The goal of developing a flying robo-insect is to build the ultimate surveillance tool.  A tiny robot that looks and flies like a real insect could enter a building and take a look around without raising an alarm.  How does the robofly take to the air?  Now, this new research seems to cast doubt on whether its the robots wings or the vibrations in the strings that guide it.  Or maybe its both.  So, the point of this story is that, even now, after over 100 years of powered flight, it is not always clear what the mechanics of flying involve or even why something can fly.

CREATING a free-flying robotic insect is the dearest wish of many an engineer because such a machine would have great potential in surveillance and in seeking out trapped people in search-and-rescue situations. But a curious effect might upset their plans.

Due to vibrations similar to those generated in a plucked guitar string, a robotic insect can defy gravity and "fly" up wire tethers.

Robotic insect 'flight' may be just good vibrations
Wed, 29 Jul 2009 08:00:00 GMT

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