Saturday, December 22, 2007

Itsy Bitsy Spiderbot

BEAM Robotics is fundamentally about drawing inspiration from nature. I am thinking about what it would take to create a spider-like robot, using muscle wire to actuate music wire legs in a way that is similar to how a spider walks.

Then, of course, I got to fantasizing about a spider robot that could climb furniture, curtains, ... heck, walls too. Wouldn't that be cool? So then I thought to myself, "self, how do you suppose spiders can hang onto walls and whatever?" and so I brought up trusty Google and found out.

Spiders have a bunch of hairs on each foot, that branch out into finer hairs. Ultimately about 600,000 hairs per spider. These super-small hairs use the Van der Waals force of close proximity, electromagnetic attraction between atoms -- like some kind of atomic nano-Velcro.

So, all I have to do is create several hundred thousand ultra microscopic hairs and glue them one by one onto some kind of foot...

2 comments:

  1. I was thinking just last night that a muscle-wire actuated spiderbot would be really cool. I'll be working on it myself and see what I can come up with. I'm not sure a BEAM circuit can provide the power needed to drive a muscle-wire, though... Must EXPERIMENT!

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  2. Cool! Looking forward to reading / seeing what you come up with. You're probably right, muscle wire takes a fair bit of current... also I guess they move pretty slowly...

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