BionicANTs – Germany’s Festo Nature Inspired Cooperative Robot Swarm

Parrot BeBop Drone (Red) with Controller 14 MP Full HD 1080p Fisheye Camera

BionicANTs, developed by Festo automation to showcase their research and development efforts leave no doubt as to where their design inspiration comes from, ants.

These robotic insects are more than just giant versions of real world ants,

Festo’s engineers have programmed them to mimic the behavior of real world ants, in terms of cooperative swarm instincts with the help of very complex, and no doubt nature inspired, control algorithms. The promo video explains some of the BionicANTs features and technology.

Each BionicANT is quite large in comparison (barring scifi movie ants) to real ants and measures 13.5 cm (5.3 in) long and runs on two 7.2 V batteries. The body of each BionicANT is also covered with electronic circuitry using 3D Molded Interconnect Device (MID) technology which enables more design flexibility and looks really cool. I wonder what could be done if the batteries were smaller, probably battery technology is the limiting factor here as well.

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