Today's picks

    The terrifying robo-SPIDER: Eight-legged ‘flic-flac’ bot can curl up into a ball and roll after you at alarming speeds

    A German technology company has built a robotic spider that looks like the stuff of nightmares. 
    Called the BionicWheelBot, the robo-spider is outfitted with eight terrifyingly spindly legs that allow it to walk, run and transform into a rolling wheel that can chase after you at alarming speeds. 
    Scientists from Festo modeled the somersaulting robot after the real-life flic-flac spider, which is known for its unusual movements. 
    The flic-flac spider is found in the Moroccan desert and can walk like other spiders. 
    But it also has the eye-popping ability to propel itself into the air by rolling and cartwheeling through the air, usually as a means of deterring predators. 
    Festo’s BionicWheelBot is designed to move just like the flic-flac spider. 
    In order to start rolling, the BionicWheelBot bends six legs — three on each side — to make a wheel. 
    Then, two legs extend, so that the robot can move itself forward even while rolling. 
    The firm says the robo-spider is twice as fast in rolling mode than it is when walking.  
    So in other words, it’s liable to catch up to you if you try to run away. 
    The key to making the robot move fast are the two legs it uses to propel itself forward.
    ‘This prevents the BionicWheelBot from grinding to a halt and ensures that it can move itself forward even on rough terrain,’ Festo explained.  
    It can also navigate rocky, uneven terrains and climb inclines that are up to 5% uphill. 
    The BionicWheelBot is controlled by 15 small motors, which are located in the knee joints and body. 
    Festo said there are also 14 automatic-locking worm gear units that make sure the sure only has to use energy when moving its legs. 

    Related Articles