The Venus flytrap is basically a carnivorous plant native to subtropical wetlands on the East Coast of the United States in North Carolina and South Carolina. It catches its prey using a trapping structure formed by the terminal portion of each of the plant’s leaves, triggered by tiny hairs on their inner surfaces. What happens when you take the terminal portion and turn it into a robotic grabber? Materials scientist Wenlong Li and colleagues at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore decided to find out. Read more for a video and additional information.
By implementing this soft, flexible plant material into robotics, arms could be used to pick up fragile objects that would otherwise be damaged traditional graspers. To test this theory, the team of scientists attached the terminal piece to a robotic arm and then used a smartphone app to control the trap. It turned out to be a success, as it was able to grasp a wire one-half of a millimeter in diameter.
- With LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor (51515), kids gain essential STEM skills as they build, code and play with remote-control model robots and intelligent creations that shoot missiles, play ball, drive around and more!
- Kids build Charlie, Tricky, Blast, M.V.P. and Gelo, and take on activities and missions using the Scratch-based LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor App (visit LEGO.com/devicecheck for a list of compatible devices)
- With almost 1,000 pieces, including an intelligent Hub, 4 Medium Motors, Color Sensor and Distance Sensor with break-out interface, youngsters can also build their own fun robotic toys and share them online on LEGO Life
- An easy-to-install rechargeable battery is included, so no need to go hunting for spare batteries when the fun’s about to start
- Blast stands at over 14” (36cm) tall, while Gelo measures over 9” (24cm) long; The Powered Up components in this set are also compatible with the LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox (17101), Droid Commander (75253) and others