Robots continue to take inspiration from different creatures in the way they look and operate, including insects thanks to an automation company in Germany.
Festo has created a fleet of bionic ants capable of working together, as well as function on their own, in order to complete tasks, just as their real-life counterparts do, according to Business Insider. The objectives for these ants will focus on automating factories.
These tiny machines, developed under the company's Bionic Learning Network, were born through the process of biomimicry, which combines nature and robotics to create machines.
Festo said back in March that the insects are built with 3D-printed plastic powder melted by a laser, as well as 3D printed circuitry. Their legs are ceramic and their pincers are flexible actuators that can move quickly without using much energy.
Other features include a stereo camera and floor sensor that work together to help the ant figure out its location and identify objects that it needs to grab. The robot also comes with an antennae that charges its lithium batteries.
The ants are tasked with objectives such as transporting large, heavy loads that they wouldn't be able to lift on their own.
These robots are the latest insect-inspired machines to come out of Festo, as the company has also created flying robots that resemble butterflies.