Industrious 3D printed bionic ants working together could toil in the factories of the future, says German technology company Festo. Amy Pollock reports.
SENDING WITH FULL SCRIPT STORY: Ants and their highly organised colonies are renowned for their collective intelligence and hard work. They communicate and cooperate, which means they achieve far more as a group than as individuals. Just like these bionic ants, the size of a human hand, developed by German firm Festo. The tech firm copied the anatomy and the cooperation of real world worker ants in their 3D printed design. The robot ants work out their location using a camera and floor sensor. They have grippers to grab items to be moved and six legs, just like their natural counterparts. They can even communicate wirelessly, so cooperation is no problem. And charging the battery powered insects is easy using their special antennae. The ants' developers say robots like these could be the factory workers of the future as production becomes more customised. They'll be showing off their diligent miniature robots at the world's biggest industrial technology fair next month.