Festo Creates Robotic Ants and Butterflies

Posted on March 29, 2015

Festo is known for its robotics inspired by animals. The company is back with two new robots. This time Festo took its inspiration from insects. The new robots include eMotionButterflies and BionicANTs.

Festo's eMotionButterflies have coordinated flying thanks to ten cameras placed inside the room with the butterfly robots. These cameras send GPS data to a central master computer that coordinates with the butterflies. Festo says it used lightweight construction on the butterflies and an aerodynamic split wing to enable them to mimic the flight of real butterflies. Here is a video of the eMotionButterflies in action:

Festo's BionicAnts are designed to work together like ants in nature. The robotic ants communicate with each other and coordinate their actions and movements. Festo says it used piezo-ceramic bending transducers in the ant legs and 3D MID technology on laser-sintered shaped parts on the ant bodies. The robot ants also have an optical mouse sensor for position tracking. The ants can be seen working together in the Festo video to move a blue object in the same way real ants work together to move food.

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