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Video: Scientists transform dead spiders into creepy reanimated robots

31.07.2022 02:22 AM
Video: Scientists transform dead spiders into creepy reanimated robots
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At a time of increasing concern about robots as a result of a robot recently breaking the finger of a 7-year-old child during a chess match in Moscow, researchers from the American "Rice University" presented new research showing a robot whose design is based primarily on a dead spider.

According to the study, published in the journal "Advanced Science" on July 25, the dead spider robot moves and grabs things like a "zombie" just out of a science fiction movie.

Turning dead spiders into robots might be a terrifying scenario idea, but in fact the trend could have tangible benefits. For example, spiders' legs can grip large, delicate, and irregular objects firmly and gently without breaking them.

The science of "necrobotie"

The story began when Fei Yap, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at Rice University, saw a dead spider in the hallway, and made her think about whether it could be used as a robotic element. So, I teamed up with mechanical engineer Daniel Preston, and they figured out a way to make a dead wolf spider's legs cling to things. They called this new type of robotics "Necrobotics".

Lupus spiders have a huge body and thin legs, and they catch the prey with the front feet and then smash their prey with two front dogs covered with hair. Oddly enough, their legs do not have muscles to stretch, but instead move their legs by means of hydraulic pressure, because the spider has a so-called "cephalothorax" and consists of the head and chest fused together, and it contracts and sends internal body fluids to the legs, making it stretch.

So, the team inserted a needle into the vertical thorax chamber and closed the tip of the needle with a spool of glue. The pressure with a small puff of air through the syringe was enough to activate the spider's legs, achieving full range of motion in less than one second.

"We took the spider and put the needle in it without knowing what would happen," Yap says in a video. "We had an estimate of where we wanted to put the needle in. And when we did, we got it right the first time," she says.

The team was able to make the dead spider grab a small ball and used this experiment to determine the peak grip strength. Next, the team members used a dead spider to pick up the tiny objects. They also showed that the spider could bear the weight of another spider of roughly the same size.
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