Nature: Ant robots have amazing jumping power and will work together.

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Nature: Ant robots have amazing jumping power and will work together.

This article comes from WeChat public number: New wisdom (ID: AI_era), source: Nature, arstechnica, source: Nature, arstechnica, head map from: Oriental IC

As far as the individual is concerned, the power of the ant is not great and the wisdom is not very high. However, as an ant colony, they can use complex strategies to accomplish complex tasks or avoid larger predators.

In addition to complex social behavior, an ant called Trap jaw ants has developed an extraordinary mechanism of movement that can use their jaws to "escape" when threatened:

Trap jaw ant

In the event of a dangerous situation, the trap ants will catch the squat and slam into the ground. "Hey!", the reaction will cause it to jump to an altitude of 8 cm and then fall outside 40 cm. They can also jump forward with their legs to cross obstacles.

Inspired by trap jaw ants, a Swiss team has developed a micro robot that can communicate and act collectively, although it has only the lowest physical intelligence at the individual level.

This small robot looks like a walking board, small in size and weighs only 10 grams, but each robot has multiple modes of motion that can be moved by jumping, walking, crawling, etc., and can even coordinate activities in groups. .

The study was conducted in collaboration with the Reconfigurable Robotics Laboratory at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Adaptive Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University. The researchers said that their small robots consisted of only the smallest components and assembly steps, achieving five different movements. Ways: vertical high jump, horizontal long jump, tumbling over obstacles, walking on rough terrain, and crawling on the ground.

The related paper is published in today's latest issue of Nature magazine.

One or three leg "ant" robots, multiple motor skills

The research team named the small robot Tribot, and the reason is obvious from the shape of the robot - the robot has three "legs".

Tribot looks like a small circuit board, but some important additional features are added to the circuit board. Including a small lithium polymer battery, which means that the robot itself can provide the energy needed for motion and circuits.

Tribot's extraordinary athletic performance comes from a shape memory alloy – the “muscle” of the robot. This alloy can deform at one temperature, but once the temperature changes, it will bounce back.

Flexible joints and batteries allow these "muscles" to move any of the three legs gradually or suddenly, all through micro heaters embedded in hardware.

Another interesting feature of a robot is its structure. Circuit boards and batteries are initially triangular planes. To convert this shape into a clover-like design for Tribot, you can fold it a few times.

The board is folded

The way Tribot walks is as you can imagine, and its front and back legs move forward once and take a step.

But it is the robot's third leg that allows it to perform some very unusual movements. By jumping forward, Tribot can roll forward;

With some leg control, Tribot can jump forward, allowing the robot to cross obstacles four times the size of its body.

Keep the upper arm stable, jump up with two legs as fulcrum, and Tribot can jump to 2.5 times its height.

Tribot was inspired by trap jaw ants, the researchers said, and the energy required for Tribot exercise is also low, as energy efficient as insects.

Second, role cooperation: leaders, explorers, workers

The robot represents a major advancement, as previous attempts have only allowed robots to carry different hardware for each sport mode, thereby building robots that move through different mechanisms.

But perhaps equally surprisingly, this tiny circuit contains everything a robot needs to do to get the job done.

Although the structure of the robot is the same, each robot can be assigned a specific role. Seeker (explorer) can detect physical obstacles on the road, such as objects, valleys and hills. After an obstacle has been found, they are responsible for notifying other members of the group. Then, the "leader" (leader) gives instructions. At the same time, the worker (worker) focused on moving objects.

In one example, the researchers set up a Tribot as leader, and set a second Tribot to follow leader.leader to detect a gap and send its position signal to the following Tribot. The back Tribot does not need to pay attention to the terrain, but reached the location indicated by its leader, immediately launched the "jump" skill, skipping the gap.

"each Tribot, like a trap jaw ant, can have a different role. Moreover, when faced with a new task or unknown environment, even when other members get lost, they can play a new role immediately. It's even stronger than a real ant can do. " The researchers said.

In the second "collaborative" test, the two Tribot worked together to push a heavier box, which could not be pushed alone. Which position to push down is specified by the third Supervisor Tribot. Supervisor Tribot reports progress to leader, and leader coordinates two worker to do the task.

Finally, when the block cuts off the communication between the leader and the "supervisor", the fifth Tribot assumes the role of "communication relay".

Third, the "ant engineering soldiers" responsible for emergency rescue

If you ask how many Tribot it takes to screw a light bulb, the answer is "more than you think."

The authors emphasize the possibility of applying the robot to practical problems, such as emergency search missions, environmental monitoring and exploration.

And because of Tribot's multi-agent communication capabilities, they can quickly locate targets on a large terrain without relying on GPS or visual feedback. The researchers said: "Because these small robots can be manufactured and deployed in large quantities, even if there are some casualties, it will not affect the success of the mission."

The researchers also say the work is an interesting start to exploring new motion patterns and the possibility of customizing robots to perform specific tasks.

Reference links:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1388-8

This article is from WeChat official account: new Zhiyuan (ID:AI_era), source: Nature,arstechnica, source: Nature,arstechnica,

* the article is an independent point of view of the author, which does not represent the position of tiger olfactory net. This paper is published by Xinzhiyuan authorized tiger olfactory net and edited by tiger olfactory net. Reprint this article with the consent of the author, and please attach the source (tiger olfactory net) and links to this page. Original link: https://www.huxiu.com/article/308173.html

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