Festo’s Box [for Techdrive.co]

on April 9, 2015 at 8:35 am

There’s no doubt that robotics are the future.

With how frequently I’m derailed into a hyperactive discussion on the unreal possibilities of the near future, I almost become redundant. But we really are on the cusp of a new age with an unprecedented array of discoveries ushering in the period of the machine.

It’s easy to get involved in the chatter of the autonomous car. Autonomous cars will forever change the way we function as a society. Something that doesn’t get much light but could make just as significant an impact however, are autonomous bugs.



Meet the bionicANT. These mechanical insects are designed not only based on the bodies of ants, but on the intelligence. Swarm intelligence is the idea that multiple devices can come together and work seamlessly in sync to execute more challenging tasks. Much like an ant, the bionicANT is designed to be a single piece programmed as a unit to work with it’s counterparts to perform a task on hand. With a radio transmitter on their uni-body they’re able to speak to each other. Each is equipped with a stereo camera and two sensors allowing them to intuitively be aware of the space around them which they can then use to grab things with their pincers. Their six legs are powered by piezo technology to move and a wireless network to function.

eMotionButterfly and FlexshapeGripper

The eMotionButterfly moves remarkably like the real thing. They use infrared sensors to avoid crashing into objects or each other and can be programmed to follow a direct flight path.

While the FlexshapeGripper uses the same idea behind a chameleon’s tongue to grab objects. Using a rubber reverse suction method to pick things up.


Festo’s robots designed with actual animals and insects in mind are intended to perform labor intense tasks. They hope that by using inspiration from life around us they can create robots that work well but also perform naturally and blend well into our environment.

The German robotics company, although like most other robotic companies, is aiming to change the workforce, is at least doing so in a very delightfully inspirational way.

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