A group of researchers from Rice UniversityIn the United States, dead spiders have been turned into robots. The project began in 2019 when two of them found a dead spider in the hallway and wondered why they snuggled up before they died.
After a quick investigation, they noticed That spiders do not have muscles like the biceps or triceps of humans, but only flexor muscles. In this way, they discover that they move with hydraulic pressure, and when they die they lose the ability to put pressure on their bodies.
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It all happened in a mechanical laboratory, so they immediately thought about how this kind of mechanism could be used in the investigation. The purpose of researchers Daniel Preston and Faye Yap was to control the spiders’ legs to grab objects forcefully, but without damaging them with excessive force.
They began the test by inserting a needle into the wolf spider’s prososome chamber to activate its legs with a small amount of air. Then, the dead arthropods’ legs moved immediately and to test the insect’s resistance, they successfully completed 1,000 cycles of opening and closing.
The researchers used the spider in various tests, such as picking up a foam ball, removing a cable from an electric bridge, and manipulating other tests.
The tests made it possible to determine that small spiders can carry heavier loads compared to larger ones. “There are a lot of pick-and-place tasks that we can investigate, repetitive tasks like sorting or moving objects at these small scales, and maybe even things like assembling microelectronics,” said one of the researchers, Daniel Preston.
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Those responsible for conducting the test determined that the spiders were biodegradable, so using them as robotic tweezers would not generate waste as traditional mechanical items do.
However, the team emphasized that there is still future work to be done and that they will now focus on figuring out how they can individually control the spider’s legs.
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