Like its biological model, the flic-flac spider, the BionicWheelBot can both walk and roll. Together with its discoverer, Professor Ingo Rechenberg, the Festo bionics team has used these unique movement patterns and turned them into a technical masterpiece for the Hannover Messe 2018.
In order to start rolling, the BionicWheelBot bends three legs each on the left and right of its body to make a wheel. Two legs folded up whilst walking then extend, push the rolled-up spider off the ground, and continuously push it forward whilst rolling.
This prevents the BionicWheelBot from grinding to a halt and ensures that it can move itself forward even on rough terrain. In rolling mode, the artificial spider – like its natural role model – is much faster than when walking.
At the same time, the robot can even overcome inclines of up to five per cent uphill.The biological model for the BionicWheelBot is the flic-flac spider (cebrennus rechenbergi). It lives in the Erg Chebbi desert on the edge of the Sahara.