Bioinspired Microrobots to Spearhead Next Generation in Manufacturing Technology

Bioinspired Microrobots to Spearhead Next Generation in Manufacturing Technology

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The University of Manchester is currently working on robot bees and jumping robot spiders while aiming to make progress in microrobotics. Microsystems Research Theme Leader, Dr. Mostafa Nabawy was said to present part of his research on bioinspired microrobots at the Industry 4.0 Summit in Manchester last Thursday. Nabawy explains why microrobotics could lead next-gen manufacturing technology by being a robotics revolution.

After training Phidippus regius, a jumping spider species, the research team used high-resolution cameras to record its every movement in great detail. With the help of this biomechanical data, the researchers are now modeling robots capable of performing with the same abilities. Furthermore, prototype robots are in the making with the help of this wide-ranging dataset. These prototypes are expected to jump several centimeters and mimic biomechanical movements of the real spider.

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By perfecting the manner in which spiders jump in robots, they could be used to execute various missions in unknown environments and for a range of purposes in complex manufacturing and engineering. Nabawy is combining his expertise in engineering systems modelling, aircraft design, and aerodynamics with bioinspired jumping and flying technologies such as flying robot bees. Creating a robot bee that could fly independently is the ultimate aim, said he. Such technologies could be used for improving an aircraft’s current aerodynamic performances and several other applications. Wouldn’t it be unimaginable to see robot bees pollinating flowers and crops?