GB: Dupeyroux, et al (Science Robotics) Antobot is not exactly "thought" like an ant, partly because we do not fully understand how desert ants use all of their navigational signs. But the almost perfect performance of AntBot is still impressive, said Dupeyroux, especially since it is made with relatively cheap technology and materials.
Originally he estimates that he can cost over $ 85,000 to create a bot with a number of sensors that completely mimic his composite eyes. But the less sophisticated bot sensors were still able to reproduce the unique photoreceptors used for the celestial compass; they also helped reduce the final cost of designing and producing AntBot to about $ 500.
"We have shown that our solution is biologically plausible and that there are also outstanding results," he said.
The navigation know-how shown by AntBot can someday be used well in technologies such as the last mile of drones or intelligent cars, said Dypepado. Ideally, these robots will use a combination of different navigation methods on their own, including GPS. But AntBot's trick of tricks can provide some advantages over existing methods in certain situations.
"Although GPS has a great influence on world navigation, it suffers from several frontiers," said Dyprero. This includes signal failure in tall buildings; a relatively small area of precision for smaller devices such as smartphones and is not particularly good for cloud, rainy or snowy days. AntBot and robots like him should, at least in theory, be able to work around these limits.
So far, however, there is still much work to be done to improve the robot. to go further in navigation. In its present form, it moves only for short distances, "Doupeyrou says. Thanks to the small, overheating engines used to move and rotate, along with its limited power supply, AntBot can only move 15 meters (49 feet). "We are currently working on a new trigger to allow our robot to perform a 100-meter trajectory in real-world conditions."
The team is also planning to improve the accuracy of the celestial compass on the bot, as well as its processing power.