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A Plague of Swarming and Jumping 3D Printed Locust Robots? Yes, Really!

by • January 14, 2016 • No Comments

loc1Sometimes in order to express possibilities for the future we can reach back into the past, in this case the Biblical past, for images to capture the stage which today’s technology is setting. In this case, the science fiction image is a plague of (robot) locusts. Israel has not long ago revealed which it has achieved a thing astonishing in the category of 3D printed robots. Tel Aviv University and ORT Braude College have collaborated on the design and creation, under the watchful eye of Professor Amir Ayali, of a locust-inspired robot which can jump up to 11.5 feet. Say which again?

Using steel springs, carbon rods, and 3D printed plastic pieces, this robot weighs less than an ounce and is 4 inches long. The initial thought of drawing of the locust’s swarming capabilities inspired the team to create a robot which runs off a motor which generates and stores mechanical energy and is powered by a lithium battery. The stored mechanical energy is what’s behind the robot’s capacity to spring high into the air, since its legs are patterned after the locust itself. The robot’s lead designer, Professor Ayali, explains:

“The locust being a sizeable insect which has rad jumping performance had offered itself as rad inspiration for this specific thought of a jumping…miniature jumping robot… What you do with it is whatever is needed whenever you want to engage any kind of robotic system with no human interference.”

Even additional astounding is the contention which the locust robot, named TAUB, can jump up to 1,000 times on one battery. Hmmm: are you begining to wonder where you can get one of these for by yourself?


Well, as luck may have it, Professor Ayali told Reuters which mass production of the robot may not be so complex due to its bargain-priced parts and effortless to make design. Ayali predicted which the robots may sell for of $100 USD, which doesn’t seem like much for a locust-inspired robot which can jump 11.5 feet 1,000 times on one battery!

locustDr. Gabor Kosa, of Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Engineering, imagines which GPS navigation systems and cameras can be installed on a swarm of solar-powered robots which can carry out sureveillance duties. Other duties include additional eco-apocalyptic scenarios like the next sizeable oil spill: quite, the sky’s the limit for a tiny robot which can jump 11.5 feet. To this end, Kosa expressed his interest in evolving this creation into a robotic system which can jump most times and mimic the locust by spreading its wings and flying, as well.

For now, it appears like the team is off to an incredible begin with TAUB: a robot with 3D printed plastic parts capable of implementing the mechanisms of swarming capabilities, via a study of the locust’s own instincts, in robotic systems. Discuss this story in the 3D Printed Locust Bot forum on 3DPB.com