Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a combination of software and hardware that will allow them to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and insect cyborgs, or biobots, to map large, unfamiliar areas – such as collapsed buildings after a disaster.
“The idea would be to release a swarm of sensor-equipped biobots – such as remotely controlled cockroaches – into a collapsed building or other dangerous, unmapped area,” says Edgar Lobaton, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and co-author of two papers describing the work.
“Using remote-control technology, we would restrict the movement of the biobots to a defined area,” Lobaton says. “That area would be defined by proximity to a beacon on a UAV. For example, the biobots may be prevented from going more than 20 meters from the UAV.”
The biobots would be allowed to move freely within a defined area and would signal researchers via radio waves whenever they got close to each other. Custom software would then use an algorithm to translate the biobot sensor data into a rough map of the unknown environment.
Once the program receives enough data to map the defined area, the UAV moves forward to hover over an adjacent, unexplored section. The biobots move with it, and the mapping process is repeated. The software program then stitches the new map to the previous one. This can be repeated until the entire region or structure has been mapped; that map could then be used by first responders or other authorities.
“This has utility for areas – like collapsed buildings – where GPS can’t be used,” Lobaton says. “A strong radio signal from the UAV could penetrate to a certain extent into a collapsed building, keeping the biobot swarm contained. And as long as we can get a signal from any part of the swarm, we are able to retrieve data on what the rest of the swarm is doing. Based on our experimental data, we know you’re going to lose track of a few individuals, but that shouldn’t prevent you from collecting enough data for mapping.”
Co-lead author Alper Bozkurt, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State, has previously developed functional cockroach biobots. However, to test their new mapping technology, the research team relied on inch-and-a-half-long robots that simulate cockroach behavior.
In their experiment, researchers released these robots into a maze-like space, with the effect of the UAV beacon emulated using an overhead camera and a physical boundary attached to a moving cart. The cart was moved as the robots mapped the area. (Video from the experiment is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWnrGsJEw6s&feature=youtu.be.)
“We had previously developed proof-of-concept software that allowed us to map small areas with biobots, but this work allows us to map much larger areas and to stitch those maps together into a comprehensive overview,” Lobaton says. “It would be of much more practical use for helping to locate survivors after a disaster, finding a safe way to reach survivors, or for helping responders determine how structurally safe a building may be.
“The next step is to replicate these experiments using biobots, which we’re excited about.”
The Latest on: Biobots
via Google News
The Latest on: Biobots
- Biomaterials for 3D Printing Market Trends, Size & Share: Industry Forecast 2019-2026: EnvisionTEC, Biobots, RegenHUon June 14, 2019 at 7:13 am
A closer look at the aspects including but not limited to Biomaterials for 3D Printing market segmentation by the end-user, end-use, geography, type, and application forms an integral part of the ... […]
- “Biobots” Will Serve Alongside South Korean Soldiers by 2024on May 13, 2019 at 11:14 am
Military robots inspired by birds, snakes, and insects will soon support South Korea’s human soldiers. On Sunday, South Korea’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA), the agency tasked ... […]
- Business Opportunities in Global 3D Bio-Printing Market 2025 | Organovo, Cyfuse Biomedical, BioBots, Luxexcel Groupon October 15, 2018 at 12:30 am
Researchmoz added latest report "Global 3D Bio-Printing Market Insights, Forecast to 2025". The industry report lists the leading competitors and provides the insights strategic industry Analysis of ... […]
- NASA's latest tech investments include shapeshifters and biobotson April 1, 2018 at 6:40 pm
It wants machines that can explore many corners of the Solar System. NASA is no stranger to backing unusual technology if it'll help with exploring the cosmos, and its latest move is proof of that ... […]
- NASA Invests in Shapeshifters, Biobots, Other Visionary Technologyon March 30, 2018 at 11:39 am
NASA is investing in technology concepts that include meteoroid impact detection, space telescope swarms and small orbital debris mapping technologies that may one day be used for future space ... […]
- NASA Invests in Shapeshifters, Biobots, Other Visionary Technologyon March 30, 2018 at 10:28 am
WASHINGTON, March 30, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA is investing in technology concepts that include meteoroid impact detection, space telescope swarms, and small orbital debris mapping ... […]
- A lot has changed for Allevi, formerly known as BioBots--but the company pushes on.on December 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm
The goal of BioBots has always been the same: Give laboratories the ability to create living things from scratch. Those things--such as pieces of tissue or bone--could then be studied with the hopes ... […]
- 3D bioprinting artists formerly known as BioBots add new software to streamline research needson November 3, 2017 at 4:01 pm
A Philadelphia startup that developed a 3D bioprinter business to produce lifelike tissue to support medical research has had quite a few changes in just the past few months. It rebranded from BioBots ... […]
- Philly's BioBots develops 3D printer to make human tissueon September 18, 2017 at 12:09 am
In the summer of 2014, while many of his fellow Penn students were spending their days interning at big tech companies and investment banks, computational biology major Danny Cabrera was busy trying ... […]
via Bing News