Wednesday 15 April 2015

This Month in Fibreglass: April 2015

Arachnaphobes beware: this month we've got an 8-legged surprise! And if you're not a fan of creepy crawlies in general you might want to look away now...

First Spiders in Space

Tethers Unlimited’s “SpiderFab” is a robot designed to build structures in a similar way to how spiders build their webs.
"The multi-limbed robot could be deployed in space and would be able to lay out and fuse together carbon fiber rods from a spinneret, crawling along its web of trusses until it creates the final object. Instead of sending complete structures into space, rockets could fill their payloads with raw materials, which could then be built out by the SpiderFab up in orbit. This would mean more materials could be taken up by one ship. For example, a complete radio antenna would take up more space than the flat-packed sheets of carbon fiber required to build it."

Tethers Unlimited’s CEO, Bob Hoyt, reckons the spiders might eventually be used to build an infrastructure for mankind's expansion into the solar system. As long as they move out afterwards.

The project has been funded by NASA - the first robot is intended to be ready by this summer, with the intention of launching a functioning spider into space in a few years. One day, an army of spiders could be used to create the space stations of tomorrow... and then take over the human race. The stuff that great horror films are made of.

via Composites Manufacturing Magazine

Ants in Your 3D-Printed Pants


 This really cool video shows Festo's BionicANTS in all their glory. Truly incredible technology developed by the German automation company, adding to their already overflowing menagerie of robots inspired by nature. 

The ants will join the ranks amongst the likes of butterflies, kangaroos, seagulls, dragonflies and jellyfish that float in the air!

Amazing stuff!

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