& SUSSEX UNIVERSITIES
Engineers from the universities of Sheffield and Sussex are planning on scanning the brains of bees and uploading them into autonomous flying robots that will then fly and act like the real thing.
Bionic bees - or perhaps that should be "beeonic" - could, it is hoped, be used for a range of situations where tiny thinking flying machines should be more useful than current technology, which might mean seeking out gas or chemical leaks, or people who are trapped in small spaces. They might even help pollinate plants in places where natural bee populations have fallen due to the still-mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder.
It's important to note that this won't be an entirely comprehensive model of a bee's brain
- it's only going to be the parts associated with its sense of smell and vision. These modules will be melded with other software to form what the team call a " Green Brain", one that can react to new situations and improvise rapidly just like a "real" animal or insect brain.
The project has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council with a £1m grant, with Nvidia providing some of its top-end graphics processors for the development team to work with. The aim is to get the "cybee" flying by 2015.
The head of project, Dr John Marshall, said: "Not only will this pave the way for many future advances in autonomous flying robots, but we also believe the computer modelling techniques we will be using will be widely useful to other brain modelling and computational neuroscience projects".
The prospect of a robotic animal that's as mentally capable as the thing it's trying to mimic might seem exciting, but bear in mind that swatting one of these away might prove a little trickier. That's especially pertinent as recent research has indicated that many insects, including bees, have personalities like vertebrates
- let's hope they upload a relatively laid-back bee's brain, lest it go rogue.
HEXAPOD ROBOT PROJECTS
subject has received a lot of attention from other engineers:-
A-Pod is an ant inspired hexapod robot with a 2 DOF abdomen (tail), a 3 DOF head with large mandibles. 6 legs with 3 DOF each. Total 25 servos. This video demonstrates body movement and mandible control.
The designer still has to make some mechanical improvements to the legs
(explaining the small amount of walking). The robot is remotely controlled with a custom 2,4 GHz RC transmitter. The Basic Atom Pro 28
is/are used as the main micro-controller(s).
for more info about the BAP28.
is based on Zenta's A-POD and made from all aluminum anodized brackets. The
kit includes the new digital HV220 robotic servos with position and force
feedback. This gives FireAnt life like movement and the ability to sense its
environment. It can sense the force the pincher's are applying with no
additional sensors. It can also feel when a leg is touching something in
both down and forward directions for autonomous terrain adaptation.
Kondo Robot announced a new, low cost, hexapod robot design with surprising flexibility, performance, and customizability. The robots unique leg design incorporates springs and linkages only requiring two servos per leg while improving the hexapod's ability to deal with uneven terrain and obstacles. The robots base frames can be easily fabricated or modified by builders to realize custom configurations. For more information visit Robots Dreams at:
A small autonomous agile robot with an on-board neurologically-based control system. Developed by engineering professor Roger Quinn and his team at Case Western Reserve
University. Video presented at IEEE IROS 2009. Read more robot news at:
beneath the Antarctic ice is a discovery that scientist will die for. This
story is now the subject of a low budget film to be produced mostly in the
UK. The promoters are looking for backers. The UK will contribute 20% toward
production costs. Roughly 60% of a low budget film may be pre-sold as
distribution rights. Angels recover 120% on their equity shares within 12
months of shooting, with an income stream thereafter from networks and
| HEXAPODS | MANTIS
ANT | SPIDERBOT
| STOMPY | TRIPODS
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