German company specialised in factory and process automation, Festo, has presented a few of their highlights visitors at the Hannover Fair, taking place next week, will be able to experience. Among them, their BionicANTs project, where engineers have not only taken the anatomy of a natural ant as a model, but also their cooperative behaviour.
“Like their natural role models, the BionicANTs work together under clear rules”, explains Dr.-Ing. Heinrich Frontzek, Head of Corporate Communication and Future Concepts at Festo. “They communicate with each other and coordinate both their actions and movements. Each ant makes its decisions autonomously, but in doing so is always subordinate to the common objective and thereby plays its part towards solving the task at hand.”
The bodys of the BionicANTs were created using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Technology, where polyamide powder is melted layer by layer with a laser to form a three-diamensional solid object. The conductive tracks were applied to these 3D printed parts using 3D MID technology.
Festo believes that future production systems will be founded on intelligent components. The cooperative behaviour of the BionicANTs may serve as a model for factories of the future.
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