If you think spiders are scary when they are alive, just wait until you see what they can do when they are dead. A team of engineers at Rice University in Texas has succeeded in resurrecting dead spiders to act as a mechanical clutch.
This is correct. As evidence that we are permanently separated from the light of God, the team published a study of their Frankish experience in advanced science On July 26, they managed to control the legs of a dead spider with a puff of air. The authors described the creation as “necrotic,” and believe it could be used for a range of purposes including catching insects and even assembling microelectronics.
“Previous research has focused on nature-inspired systems, where researchers look to nature for inspiration and to imitate the physical features of organisms in engineered systems,” Fay Yap, a mechanical engineer at Rice and the paper’s lead author, told The Daily Beast. E-mail. She later added, “Necrobotics, on the other hand, uses biomaterials, which are non-living materials derived from once-living organisms, such as the necrotic astringent obtained from the spider in our work.”
The team was inspired to create their own exciting creations after they found a dead spider moving objects around their lab one day. After noticing how it wrinkled when it died, they discovered that the spider’s legs do not have muscles like humans, but instead rely on hydraulic pressure to move their limbs.
“We understand that a lot of people are blown away by a spider’s vision, but from an engineering point of view, the mechanism of spider movement is very interesting,” Yap said. “It definitely warrants taking a closer look at these creatures and learning more about them.”
The team decided to see if they could do it control legs. The mechanism was pretty straightforward: Yap inserted a syringe into the internal hydraulic chamber of the dead wolf spider and added some super glue to hold it in place. Then she added a small amount of air and instantly opened the spider’s legs. there he is! You have the most damn grabber tool in the world.
While crawling on the skin, dead grabbers were very effective at picking up objects. The wolf spiders used in the experiment are able to lift more than 130 percent of their body weight – which means broken grippers can grab objects much heavier than themselves.
The team also found that their new tool was surprisingly durable, too. One spider was even able to withstand 1,000 open and close cycles before showing signs of wear and tear. But Fay said they eventually “plan to incorporate thinner polymer coatings to extend the life of the grunt clutch.”
Danielle Preston, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Rice and co-author of the paper, told The Daily Beast that while the experiment raised few eyebrows, the general public “were supportive.”
“[The] The typical reaction is a brief period of surprise, and then an “a-ha” moment where the underlying mechanism and engineering contributions to our work emerge,” Preston said. “We hope this research will spark new ideas about how we can respectfully and sustainably obtain materials biotechnology and its use in robotics applications.
Preston added that the team hopes to eventually test the concept on smaller spiders, which can carry a payload heavier relative to their body weight and mass. Spider grabbers can also be used to catch other crawling reptiles as well.
“Because the grunt gripper has inherent conformational and camouflaging capabilities, we envision we could deploy it in scientific fieldwork,” Fay said. “For example, to capture and collect small insects and other live specimens without damaging them.”
Listen, this is undoubtedly frightening and pulling straight from the depths of our nightmares. But necrobots have a lot of useful applications. If you step back from the horror factor, it’s pretty cool in a sci-fi fashion. Let’s just hope they stick with the spiders, though…and not something bigger.
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