The BionicWheelBot by FESTO

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

The Creepy Spider Robot

Walk and roll like a cebrennus rechenbergi flic-flac spider.

In the automation technology, Festo is always on the lookout for new drive concept and amazing forms of movement. Nature is often a source of inspiration in the respect. Festo therefore teamed up with the discoverer of the Moroccan flic-flac spider, Professor Ingo Rechenberg, as part of its Bionic Learning Network.

The bionic engineer from Berlin discovered the spider in the Erg Chebbi desert on the edge of Sahara in 2008, and since then has been working on transferring its movement pattern to the technical filed. the flic-flac spider can walk like a spiders. it can also propel itself with a combined sequence of somersaulting and rolling on the ground.

Having examined the spider thoroughly, Rechenberg and his team designed a few preliminary models of the BionicWheelBot. The kinematics and drive concept of the artificial spider were then developed together with Festo.

The kinematics is based on the biological model, the BionicWheelBot has eight legs, which helps it to both walk and roll. they are controlled by a total of 15 small motors, which fit in the knee joints and body. there are also 14 automatic-locking worm gear units that ensure that the spider only has to use energy when its leg - not, however, to keep its body upright when standing still. And in the rolling mode, the BionicWheelBot does a somersault with its whole body, just like the real flic-flac spider. The integrated inertial sensor knows what position it is in and when is has to push off again. it, too, is therefore much faster when rolling than walking and can even overcome inclines of up to five percent uphill.

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