Small, light, and quick, the cheetah-cub robot is a robust little experiment in robotics and biomechanics from EPFL, the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, one of two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology. From actu.epfl.ch:
Even though it doesn’t have a head, you can still tell what kind of animal it is: the robot is definitely modeled upon a cat… The purpose of the platform is to encourage research in biomechanics; its particularity is the design of its legs, which make it very fast and stable…
The number of segments – three on each leg – and their proportions are the same as they are on a cat. Springs are used to reproduce tendons, and actuators – small motors that convert energy into movement – are used to replace the muscles.
In the future, the stability and speed of this robot could be key attributes for finding people in search and rescue missions or for exploration of rough terrain.
What can we learn from a tiny seahorse that might help us make stronger robotics or armor in the future? UCSD Materials Science Ph.D. student Michael Porter explains what his team has learned about the flexible structure of a seahorse’sprehensile tail.
This 2.2-litre Turbo Diesel-powered, British-designed and -built walking machine can be piloted or remote WiFi-controlled, stands 2.8 metres high with a five meter working envelope and weighing in at just under two tonnes.
The Mantis took four years of research, design, building, and testing, and cost “hundreds of thousands of pounds” to make. It’s for rent as an entertainment vehicle, but Denton hopes to showcase it at science fairs. Read more at the BBC.
With the BionicOpter, Festo has technically mastered the highly complex flight characteristics of the dragonfly. Just like its model in nature, this ultralight flying object can fly in all directions, hover in mid-air and glide without beating its wings.
In addition to control of the shared flapping frequency and twisting of the individual wings, each of the four wings also features an amplitude controller. The tilt of the wings determines the direction of thrust. Amplitude control allows the intensity of the thrust to be regulated. When combined, the remote-controlled dragonfly can assume almost any position in space.