Human eyes are insensitive to polarized light and ultraviolet radiation, but that is not the case for ants, who use it to locate themselves in space. Cataglyphis desert ants in particular can cover several hundreds of meters in direct sunlight in the desert to find food, then return in a straight line to the nest, without getting lost.
They cannot use pheromones: they come out when the temperature would burn the slightest drop. Their extraordinary navigation talent relies on two pieces of information: the heading measured using a sort of “celestial compass” to orient themselves using the sky’s polarized light, and the distance covered, measured by simply counting steps and incorporating the rate of movement relative to the sun measured optically by their eyes. Distance and heading are the two fundamental pieces of information that, once combined, allow them to return smoothly to the nest.
AntBot, the brand-new robot designed by CNRS and Aix-Marseille University (AMU) researchers at ISM, copies the desert ants’ exceptional navigation capacities. It is equipped with an optical compass used to determine its heading by means of polarized light, and by an optical movement sensor directed to the sun to measure the distance covered. Armed with this information, AntBot has been shown to be able, like the desert ants, to explore its environment and to return on its own to its base, with precision of up to 1 cm after having covered a total distance of 14 meters. Weighing only 2.3 kg, this robot has six feet for increased mobility, allowing it to move in complex environments, precisely where deploying wheeled robots and drones can be complicated (disaster areas, rugged terrain, exploration of extraterrestrial soils, etc.).
The optical compass* developed by the scientists is sensitive to the sky’s polarized ultraviolet radiation. Using this “celestial compass”, AntBot measures its heading with 0.4° precision by clear or cloudy weather. The navigation precision achieved with minimalist sensors proves that bio-inspired robotics has immense capacity for innovation. Here we have a trio of advances. A novel robot has been developed, new, innovative and unconventional optical sensors have been designed, and AntBot brings new understanding on how desert ants navigate, by testing several models that biologists have imagined to mimic this animal. Before exploring potential applications in aerial robotics or in the automobile industry, for example, progress must be made, for instance in how to operate this robot at night or over longer distances.
Learn more: The first walking robot that moves without GPS
The Latest on: Walking robot
via Google News
The Latest on: Walking robot
- How wearable robots are helping people with paralysis walk againon March 22, 2020 at 9:53 am
Many in the U.S. live with some form of paralysis. Now wearable robots, or exoskeletons, are giving hope to people with spinal cord injuries, neurological disorders and strokes.
- The Future Of Work Now: Digital Weederon March 21, 2020 at 10:08 am
Jeff Meyer and FarmwiseJeff Meyer spends his days walking through farm fields, carrying an Internet-connected tablet and watching an AI-enabled robot cut down weeds—and not cut down lettuce.
- Delivery Robots Could Have Saved The Day If The Virus Had Come A Bit Lateron March 19, 2020 at 11:00 am
Delivery robots are coming, but they're not quite here, which is a shame because we really need them right now, and they are probably safe enough on the empty streets of virus lockdown cities.
- Rise of robots hastened by coronaviruson March 18, 2020 at 11:00 pm
Delivery robots are regarded as a bit of a gimmick, for many people bringing to mind a Wall-E style box on wheels trundling along a pavement at slower-than-walking pace, carrying a takeaway a few ...
- Cleaning robot at Texas Medical Center hotel helps fight off coronaviruson March 12, 2020 at 7:03 pm
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Imagine walking into your hotel room and licking your television remote control ... "We are the first hotel in the country to implement a UV-light germ zapping robot here at ...
- From barely walking to gymnastics routines: 10 years of Boston Dynamics robots' terrifying progress is an eye-opening look at a robot-dominated futureon March 12, 2020 at 10:17 am
Robotics have come a long way in just 10 years. In 2009, robots developed by Boston Dynamics were barely able to walk. In 2019, they were doing gymnastics. The progress is astounding. But it also ...
- This new robot will teach your kids how to code (and the meaning of friendship)on March 12, 2020 at 4:49 am
Related: Best robot vacuum cleaner 2020 for carpets, hardwood and mopping At a glance, the robot can be built into a remote control car, a walking robotic pet, a fairground claw machine and many more ...
- 10 year snapshot of Boston Dynamics robot shows how far its comeon March 12, 2020 at 4:21 am
Every so often a new video will surface showing the latest goings-on at Boston Dynamics, the US-based robotics firm. And while it seems quaint that a robot can now do parkour or twerk, it’s only when ...
- Robot startup scores DHL dealon March 11, 2020 at 3:24 pm
“We know where the human is standing and we surround that person with robots,” said Locus Robotics chief executive Rick Faulk. This sharply reduces the amount of walking required for workers to get ...
- Researchers develop bipedal robot that can alter walking behaviors based on environmenton March 11, 2020 at 11:24 am
can alter its movements to accommodate for changes in the robot’s surrounding environment, such as slowing down when a surface is slippery or changing direction to avoid potholes, puddles or other ...
via Bing News