Once again it proves to be worthwhile examining Nature's outstanding technical tricks to develop interesting machines that behave innovatively – in other words, machines.
Esslingen-based Festo has developed the BionicWheelBot, a walk-and-roll robot with strong spider vibes. The
BionicWheelBot is inspired by the Flic Flac Spider.
How? "The Flic-Flac spider can run like other spiders, but it can also catapult itself into the air, with a combined sequence of somersaults and castors on the ground."
The walking and tumbling robot has its origins in the work of Professor Ingo Rechenberg, a bionics professor at the TU Berlin. He discovered the spider in the Erg Chebbi desert on the edge of the Sahara in 2008. ScienceDaily reports that "Prof. Dr. Rechenberg was so excited about the ingenious locomotion of the Flic-Flac spider he developed one 25 cm long model of a spider robot. "
Well," Since his discovery, Professor Rechenberg has been working to transfer his movement patterns to the technical domain, "Festo said. "Spider behavior studies have led to the design of various robots that can move in difficult terrain."
The nature's walk-and-roll spider is an example of what Scientific American "One of the most bizarre defense mechanisms ever observed in nature, flic-flacking, as it is in The scientific literature is known. "
According to Bec Crew, who writes in Scientific American the movement is "essentially carting to avoid danger".
It was seen in a handful of animals around the world, Crew said. As for the Namib Spider, Crew said: "She lives in constant fear of the parasitic Pompilid wasp – a particularly nasty robber who is very keen to catch his prey."
Together with the professor, the Festo bionics team researched the movement patterns of the spiders.
How is it going? The Festo brochure says that he uses 6 of his 8 legs for running. The other two are push-off legs and are folded up. "With each step, three legs remain on the ground, while the other three are raised, moved forward, and then put back on the ground, and with the same sequence, the BionicWheelBot then moves the other three legs that were on the ground."  Festo said that 15 motors fit in the knee joints and the body. Festo also pointed to 14 self-locking worm gears. They ensure that the spider "only needs energy when she moves her legs – but not to keep her body upright".
In role mode, according to Festo, the artificial spider – like its natural role model – is much faster than walking. It can move forward even on uneven terrain.
How does a bike do it? Festo said that to roll, it flexes 3 legs left and right of his body to make a wheel. The 2 legs, which were folded while walking, then stretch out, push the rolled up spider off the ground and push it forward while rolling.
The spidery walk-and-roll robot will be ready for the industrial fair Hannover Messe 2018 from April 23 to 27. The Hanover Fair is considered the world's leading trade fair for industrial technology.