Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Sticky Space Spider

A robotic insect is designed to explore rough, alien terrain.

The insect-inspired robot shown in this video, called Abigaille-I, can potentially walk on the ceiling. The robot was developed by researchers at the Simon Fraser University, in BC, Canada, and the European Space Agency.

The researchers designed Abigaille-I to maximize use of dry adhesion (employed by geckos and some insects) and enlisted microfabrication techniques to make very small fibers that create enough grip to let the robot stick to surfaces. The adhesive material consists of 20-to-60-micrometer-tall fibers–the source of Abigaille-I’s sticking power. The video also shows a computer model of the next robot. It has six legs (each with six degrees of freedom) and 18 actively controlled joints.

Carlo Menon, a professor of engineering science at Simon Fraser, demonstrated the work at the 2008 BioRob Conference, showing that the robot can hang upside down.

Like a real spider, Abigaille-I peels a foot from a surface by moving its leg outward, so that the heel lifts before the front of the foot, without sliding. Its feet also rotate in three directions using ankle joints, allowing it to adapt to uneven surfaces.

To give the robot feedback on the position of its legs, the researchers use relatively cheap and lightweight sensors that detect a magnetic field. By placing magnets on the limbs below the joints, the sensors will detect the orientation of each leg as it moves. Menon told me that he and his team plan to test the spider-inspired climbing robot on a simulated Mars environment at the beginning of 2010.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.