Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Osaka University in Japan have created a robot modeled after trap-jaw ants called “Tribot”. These robots are designed to function in colonies, where each member has a role like leader and worker. Because Tribots are completely untethered, they are perfect for emergency relief situations and exploration missions and if a colony breaks down or malfunctions, another can take its place without disruption to the mission.
According to their paper, the researchers shared that each Tribot has it’s own battery, sensors, and can be set to different power levels. The Tribot can also be set to one of five walking styles for various terrain and circumstances: vertical jumping for height, horizontal jumping for distance, somersault jumping to clear obstacles, walking on textured terrain, and crawling on flat surfaces.
Currently, Tribots only exist as prototypes.