The world of tech engineering seems to be a pretty twisted one, with masterminds inventing all sorts of hi-end devices that are capable to go to places where only the mind roams, as the body does not fit. The cockroach shaped robot will be able to slip through delicate cracks to find people buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings.
We live in a world where calamities happen on a regular basis, with the previous earthquake in Nepal causing hundreds of thousands of victims, overwhelming human strength and abilities to go across obstacles and find signs of life. This is where technology can kick in, with machines created to save lives, instead of humans, and being able to squeeze through cracks, scurry around obstacles and negotiate hurdles. Human power is limited when it comes to disasters but the human mind is unlimited when it comes to creative capacities that can make the world a better and a safer place.
The cockroach robot is a special invention that can be used in delicate situations, as the crawling device uses sensors and locomotion like many other bio-inspired devices. The “veloci-roach” flips on its side to penetrate through spaces that are impossible for human reach.
Engineers and scientists have tried to mimic the forms we see in nature and translate them into innovative design techniques. The team responsible with creating this particular model has performed a set of trials before reaching the ultimate rounded shape. The veloci-roach, or the Wall-E, pet cockroach hybrid used to be cubical, which made movement difficult, as when it turned left or right became stuck. Trial and error helps improvement and this translates into the rounded, exoskeletal shell that now covers the backside of the robot, letting it roll and fit its body through small gaps.
The change in shape had a great impact, as it allowed improved mobility and opened an extended range of possibilities for the robotics industry. The rounded shells can be used to build inexpensive robots for search and rescue missions or precision agriculture.
The team of engineers managed this breakthrough by studying insects’ behavior and filming the insects with their capacities to go across very dense, minimalistic and challenging spaces. After extended research and analysis time, the robot came to life inside the masterminds. Building it took two years, while scientists continued to observe insects move through laser cut beams, similar to grass. Their goal was to understand how animals can proceed with movement in any situation and translate that into a new device, able to manage the tiniest spaces and find the most valuable clues of life.
Image Source: engadget.com