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
[google_news title=”” keyword=”walking robot” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Walking robot
- New tiny living robots may have 'healing powers' for humans, according to recent studyon December 1, 2023 at 2:15 pm
Scientists have created microscopic living robots that may be able to help heal the very things they’re made from: human cells.
- "Can a robot really make your perfect perfume? I put it to the test"on November 30, 2023 at 4:44 am
I tried the EveryHuman Algorithmic Perfumery to see if a robot could pick my signature scent – this is what happened. Can AI really make your perfect perfume?
- Humanoid robots are here, but they’re a little awkward. Do we really need them?on November 28, 2023 at 8:24 pm
Building a robot that’s both human-like and useful is a decades-old engineering dream inspired by popular science fiction. *No charge for 4 weeks then billed as $19 every four weeks (new subscribers ...
- New wearable robot to assist people with walking difficultieson November 26, 2023 at 4:38 pm
Researchers have developed a new wearable robot that is designed to specifically assist people with difficulties in walking due to ageing, muscle weakness, surgeries or specific medical conditions.
- Robot dogs have unnerved and angered the public. So why is this artist teaching them to paint?on November 26, 2023 at 10:25 am
Agnieszka Pilat calls herself a ‘propaganda artist’ for technology. But when the machines are sold to governments, police and military, what’s the line between art and an ad?
- Victoria 11-year-old with autism creates compassionate robot companionon November 23, 2023 at 10:04 am
While dogs have long been dubbed 'man’s best friend,' Alex Rose is walking his pup during a break from creating a companion for everyone.
- Robot shoes can help you walk 3x faster; how do they work?on November 22, 2023 at 6:06 am
Named one of Time Magazine's "Best Inventions of 2023", Moonwalkers are one of the most interesting shoes you will likely see. Designed by Austin-based Shift Robotics, they initially look like roller ...
- A wearable robot that assists people with walkingon November 21, 2023 at 6:50 am
In recent years, roboticists have introduced increasingly advanced systems, which could open exciting new possibilities for surgery, rehabilitation, and health care assistance. These robotic systems ...
via Bing News