Most spiders are actually good for the environment, wiping out a wide variety of pests, including many that carry diseases. Still they’re pretty creepy looking, and the bigger they are, the scarier these eight-legged insects can be.
When it comes to robots, most of them are powered by batteries or plug-in electricity, which in turn drive servos or other motors. But if you’re trying to build insect-sized robots, it’s tough for them to get around them without an external power source.
Strapping a GoPro onto your pet can result in some pretty amusing video footage. But what if you prefer insects to mammals? There’s no way you could fit a regular action camera onto one of those, unless it’s one of those giant bird-eating spiders you find in South America maybe.
As the miniaturization of electronic and electromechanical components continues to improve, so does the ability for engineers to create tiny robots. I recently came across this miniature robot that’s roughly the width of a U.S. penny, but is capable of relatively complex movements.
Like bugs? The Robo Firefly is being called the first insect-like consumer drone. So if you have ever dreamed of piloting your very own insect in the skies, this is your chance. This flying critter is modeled after an insect, so this doesn’t make a lot of noise when it flies.
If there’s one critter that I think universally gives people the creeps, it’s the scorpion. While only a very small percentage are deadly enough to kill humans, they’re still pretty nasty looking creatures, and not the type of thing I’d want to run into while walking around the desert.
Despite what the images here tell you, cockroaches are not cute, nor cuddly, and certainly not adorable. They are not your friends. They are meant to be squashed under foot sprayed with Raid and sent to Roach Motels, not hugged and squeezed with love.
Harvard University researchers have been working on a miniature robot called the Harvard Ambulatory Microbot (HAMR) for a while now. The insect-inspired, waterproo microbot recently received an upgrade, and now it can swim and walk underwater – on land, too.
I don’t know what it is about horned beetles, but I find them quite creepy. I think it must have been that scene from The Mummy where one crawled under the guy’s skin, or when thousands come crawling out of the ground in The Mummy Returns.
If you’re a sexy woman who enjoys lazing around in the pool, you want this giant inflatable cockroach. According to the images here, the ladies love to lounge around on a giant cockroach. Kids too, but gals in bikinis really seem to love it.
Wall-climbing robots have been around for a while, but wall-climbing robots that can actually spin spiderwebs? Did I mention they were made of carbon fiber? Yeah, that exists now. We’re all going to wind up suspended from some cave ceiling in cocoons.
Warning. Read any further, and your fear of cockroaches will be kicked up several notches. That’s because a collaboration between South Korea’s Seoul National University and UC Berkeley has created it’s latest unholy robot. Yes, mankind has built a robot cockroach that can crawl around and also jump five feet in the air.
A group of Chinese scientists were on a field trip to the Guangxi Zhuang region of China in 2014 and discovered this gigantic bug. The beast is 62.4cm long, or a bit over two feet. It looks like some sort of irradiated friend of Godzilla to me.
I like to imagine that the scientists who come up with experiments sit around and think of the most awesome things they can do, even if they have little real world value. I bet there were back claps all around when one of them said, “Let’s put 3D glasses on a praying mantis!”
There are a bunch of museums in the US and around the world I would like to visit one day. The Smithsonian is at the top of my list. I didn’t even know that Cleveland had a Museum of Natural History, but it does, and someone working there clearly has a sense of humor.