Festo, a German based global industrial control and automation engineering firm has developed robotic ants called BionicANT – Bionic Autonomous Networking Technologies.The ants are about the size of an adult hand and works imitating the cooperative behavior of the real world counterparts.
Each ant is equipped with camera on its head, to help determine its location and identify objects that can be grasped with its forceps. Floor sensors also help to get a sense of its surroundings while using wireless networks to communicate as can be seen from the image.Not only this, the robots can communicate with each other to share work and surrounding data
Like their real-world role models, lithium battery-powered BionicANTS are engineered to be cooperative, working for the greater good of the colony, so to speak. Opto-electrical floor sensors, radio modules and stereoscopic cameras enable the ants to figure out where they are and help them locate objects.
Working on the concept of ants’ teamwork allows these robots to complete complex tasks they could not accomplish on their own, such as moving a large object. Thus, the potential this technology holds is quite fascinating. The bionic ants will be presented at next month’s Hannover Messe trade show in Germany, the largest industrial technology fair in the world, to be held between 13 and 17 April.