The new robot ant uses in its work the unique ability of insects to move on the "solar compass»
Modern navigation robots use a GPS system. According to French scientists and engineers, in the world there is another accurate tool for orientation in space. This is the so-called "solar compass", which is used by ants in the deserts. They manage to travel hundreds of kilometers and find their way back to the nests without any problems. Experts used the principle of their navigation in creating the unique robot ant AntBot.
What is the uniqueness of ants movement
Studies have shown that the eyes of ants are equipped with cells that allow them to see "polarized light", hidden from people. Thanks to this, insects are able to see the conditional celestial lines and navigate by the position of the sun above the horizon. Following such a unique map, ant plotting the course of his journey. In addition, insects know how far they have traveled. They also compare the number of steps taken and the speed of movement.
Given these data, the ants choose the shortest path to the nest and followed him. It sounds amazing, but quite simple and clear. Also experts thought and created AntBot — massive (about 2 kilograms) robot ant, which looks more like a spider. The device has integrated various sensors that collect data and send it to the built-in computer for processing.
What can a robot ant AntBot do
Instead of "solar compass" antbot has ultraviolet sensors and polarizers. The rotation of the latter gives the robot the opportunity to establish the distribution of polarization of light in the sky and pave the right route.
The robot ant uses special sensors to measure the optical flow. And, like his "father", can also count the steps and adjust the speed of his movement.
AntBot has already passed a test test in the field. Engineers released him on a "walk" on the experimental site, equipped with a floor with a textured surface. At the beginning of the journey, the robot ant walked from edge to edge on a curve, but then always returned to the start. In the process of moving, he stopped for a while to process incoming data and evaluated the correctness of the direction.
Thus, with AntBot scientists managed to successfully apply ant navigation system. The robot can be used in hard-to-reach conditions during rescue operations and to explore areas where there is no GPS signal.