The First Walking Robot That Moves Without GPS


© Julien Dupeyroux, ISM (CNRS / AMU)

Motivated by the ant desert understood for being a remarkable solo sailor, scientists from the CNRS and Aix-Marseille University, at the Institute of Motion Sciences – Étienne Jules Marey (ISM), developed the first robot to legs able to move without GPS: AntBot can explore its environment arbitrarily and go house instantly, without GPS or mapping. His trick: a celestial compass conscious polarized light from the sky. This work, released on February 13, 2019 in Science Robotics , makes it possible to think of brand-new navigation techniques for the self-governing automobile and the robotics of tomorrow.

Our eyes are insensitive to polarized light and ultraviolet radiation, however this is not the case with the ants that utilize them to discover their method into space. The desert ant Cataglyphis, in specific, has the ability to stroll numerous hundred meters in the desert in the middle of the day to discover food, then to return in a straight line to its nest, without getting lost. Difficult for her to utilize scents: she heads out at a time when the temperature level would burn any drop. Her remarkable skill as a navigator is based upon 2 pieces of details: the determined heading thanks to a sort of “solar compass”, which permits her to orient herself utilizing the polarized light of the sky, and the range took a trip, determined by merely counting her actions and by incorporating the speed of motion with regard to the ground determined optically by his eye. Range and heading are 2 essential pieces of details that, when integrated, permit him to return securely to the nest.

AntBot, the brand name brand-new robot developed by scientists CNRS and Aix-Marseille University (AMU) at the ISM, recreates the remarkable navigation abilities of the desert ant. It is geared up with an optical compass to identify its course through polarized light, and an optical scroll sensing unit directed to the ground to determine its range took a trip. Equipped with this details, AntBot has actually shown capable, like the desert ant, of exploring its environment and returning by its own ways to its base, with an accuracy of approximately 1 cm after having actually taken a trip an overall range of 14 meters. Weighing just 2.3 kg, this robot has 6 legs which offers it increased movement, enabling it to relocate complicated environments,

The optical compass 1developed by researchers is delicate to the polarized ultraviolet rays of the sky. Thanks to this “celestial compass”, AntBot determines its course with a precision of 0.4 ° in clear or cloudy weather condition. The accuracy of navigation accomplished with minimalist sensing units shows the ingenious capability of bio-inspired robotics which permits here to eliminate 3 birds with one stone: to bring brand-new understanding on the navigation of the ant of the desert, by screening thanks to AntBot numerous designs developed by biologists to imitate this animal, establish an unique robot, and create brand-new ingenious and non-traditional optical sensing units. Prior to prospective applications in aerial robotics or the automobile market for instance, now stays to break brand-new ground,

This work has actually especially gained from the assistance of the Directorate General of Weaponry, the CNRS, AMU, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur area and the ANR in the structure of the Equipex / Robotex job.

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