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Robot Spider and Bat

 The Festo BionicWheelBot, in walking mode
The Festo BionicWheelBot, in walking mode(Credit: Festo)

Festo, the German electrical automation company that previously brought us a robotic dragonfly, kangaroo and penguin, is back with a couple of new creations – a spider that can roll like a wheel, and a bat that flies by autopilot.

Reminiscent of the Star Wars battle droids, the BionicWheelBot robotic spider was actually inspired by the flic-flac spider (cebrennus rechenbergi). In its native Sahara Desert habitat, that spider walks normally on uneven ground, but rolls/somersaults across smooth terrain – doing so is twice as fast as walking. read more