Robotic Venus Flytraps Could Power The Future's Robots With Dead Stuff

October 31, 2011


These is a robotic Venus flytrap. It attracts and traps flies using technology and NOT yellow sticky tape (although that does work too and I do let my nephew pick the flies out and play with them). You know the saying, "you can't kill flies with a spear?" Well that's a lie, it just takes a Spartan. The hope is that robots of the future will be able to power themselves by consuming insects. Then small animals. Then us.

The tiny robots are modeled after the lobes of Venus flytraps, which snap shut as soon as sensitive hairs inside detect an alighting insect. One prototype, developed at Seoul National University, is made of shape-memory materials that switch between two states when subjected to a current. The other, made at the University of Maine, uses artificial muscles made of a gold nanomaterial.

Of course, it's still a pretty big leap to robots that can make use of whatever they've trapped inside their lobes. An insectivorious robot would probably have to transport the dead prey to some type of mechanical-chemical gut for digestion and caloric production, which would be quite a feat. But then again, we've seen it before with the EATR bot, so it's certainly possible.

Ahahahahahhaha, they don't even do anything once they've trapped a fly -- it's pure torture! I....can't say I'm surprised. Hungover, yes, but I went out dressed as Gandalf last night and drank my weight in Butterbeer. Mixing franchises? I'm still tipsy.

Robotic Venus Flytraps Will Trap Bugs and Eat Them For Fuel [popsci]

Thanks to Cobalt Sandwich, Peter and gunk, who're developing robots that draw energy from the non-marshmallow bits of breakfast cereal instead of living things.

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