“Robot Locust” Can Traverse Rocky Terrain and Assist in Search and Rescue
TAU researcher develops locust-inspired robot capable of jumping twice as high as existing robots of its kind.
Since the 1980s, advanced robotic platforms have provided assistance to crisis intervention teams in the wake of man-made and natural disasters. The objective of such robots, in various sizes and shapes, has been to intervene where humans cannot and send life-saving data to rescue teams in the field.
A new miniature robot is poised to make a major contribution to the field of advanced robotics. The new locust-inspired robot, dubbed “TAUB” (for “Tel Aviv University and Ort Braude College”), is five inches long and weighs less than one ounce. It can jump 11 feet high — more than twice the height of similar-sized robots — and cover a horizontal distance of 4.5 feet in one leap. The researchers believe the TAUB will perform well in search-and-rescue missions and in reconnaissance operations in rough terrain.
The robot is the result of a collaboration between Prof. Amir Ayali of the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University’s George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Dr. Gabor Kosa of TAU’s Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering and Dr. Uri Ben-Hanan of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Ort Braude College. The research for the study was primarily conducted by TAU engineering students Valentin Zeitsev and Omer Gvirsman, as well as Dr. Avi Weiss of Ort Braude College. The research was recently published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.
Inspired by nature
“Our locust-inspired miniature jumping robot is a beautiful example of bio-inspired technological innovation,” said Prof. Ayali. “Miniature robots are of special interest in the robotics field, attracting a lot of attention and research. The manufacture of tiny robots is cheap and efficient; their small size allows them to traverse difficult and unknown terrain; and many can be used in any given situation.”
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