Team: Flamand Stephan - Terryn Robbe - Deconinck Pieterjan
Ghent University - Industrial Design Center Kortrijk - ELIS
“Redesign the ‘Stigmergic Ant Hexapod Robot’, which was designed during the first semester of scholastic year 2011-2012 as an eye-catcher for the Industrial Design Center (IDC) on expos. The main goals of the redesign are to use lighter and more durable materials, make the robot modular and repair-friendly, make the robot autonomous and solve the mechanical issues of the current robot, such as burning motors, gravitational separation, high energy consumption and so on. Integrate a nice interaction aspect which fits the context of expos.”
Strictly using digital production techniques (3D printing, laser cutting and thermoforming on CNC – milled molds), a modular and reproducible, scorpion-based hexapod robot was created. Problems such as gravitational separation and high energy consumption of the motors were solved by the use of elastics, based on the principle of antagonistic muscles. The tail actuation and main robot structure were strongly based on nature’s solutions as well.
The scorpion is programmed with a range of moves and interactions to function more autonomous on expos, while a GUI allows easier calibration and live control over the robot. A marker integrated in the tail allows the scorpion to “stab” expo visitors, creating a trace of persons ‘carrying the information shared at the IDC-stand’ through the expo and representing the idea of stigmergy.