Russian Scientists Develop Cockroach Spy Robot

A team of Russian scientists has built a tiny spybot which looks and moves like a cockroach. The scientists, from the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Kaliningrad, hope to use the insectoid robot to help find victims trapped under debris.

“Berkeley University has been working on their cockroach for the past four years,” explained project leader Aleksey Belousov, “but they didn’t have to make it look like an insect, so it’s faster than ours. But it can’t turn at speed and it doesn’t look like a real cockroach at all. Whereas we were specifically told to create a cockroach robot on time and on budget.”

The robot, which is 10cm long, can move at 30cm-per-second, which is 1/3 the speed of a real cockroach, and can carry a weight of up to 10g, enough for a small camera. It is fitted with light sensors, plus contact and non-contact probes to help it negotiate obstacles and move through small spaces.

“We had to develop many things from scratch. For example, there’s a company in Austria that produces gearing for legs, but a unit for one robot would have cost us nearly $9,000 while our entire budget is $22,500,” Danil Borchevkin, lead engineer at the university, said.

The team from Kant Baltic Federal University is currently working on a camouflaged version for the Russian military.

Thank you The Stack and Kantiana for providing us with this information.

Scientist Working On Nature Inspired Millimeter-Sized Drones

Drones are apparently not only becoming more common, but a lot smarter and smaller it seems. According to latest news, some research teams are currently looking into nature for answers in order to tackle the problems when designing new and improved drones.

From flying through narrow spaces to picking up objects, drones have plenty to learn from birds and other animals in the wild. However, the precision when looking at a flying drone depends entirely on its flight control. And where to get a better tutor than a which is born with the ability to fly.

This is the aim of some US-based groups scattered around the country. One of these groups is based in Harvard and is looking into creating a millimeter-sized drone which can manoeuvre in small, narrow and hard to reach areas. The drone at hand is reportedly inspired by flies or other winged insects, hovering in the air for extended periods of time. The team tasked with this project is hoping to gain a more detailed insight into insect population and even help in areas such as pollinating plants in the future.

Other groups such as the ones based in UNC Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University, or the University of California, are tasked with finding a way to create drones which can handle and perceive the elements of hot and cold or rain and heavy gusts of wind. The main objective for the latter teams is to come up with a wind-proof drone, having the hawk moth as the primary source of inspiration.

Thank you Daily Digest News for providing us with this information
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