In science fiction, insects are frequently featured as robotic critters. Either scurrying across the galaxy as invading aliens or as robo-bug counterparts to a futuristic human race. There are countless examples in TV, movies, video games, comic books, even on rock and roll album covers, (see Journey’s “Escape” circa 1981,). From Cronos to The Golden Compass, the insect/robot archetype has been used, re-used and re-imagined countless times.
In reality, engineers look to insect movement, wing design and other characteristics for inspiration of new technology. Some of the most advanced “aircraft” is no bigger, or heavier, than a dragonfly, and NASA scientists are making big steps in walking rovers and “swarm theory” probes for planetary exploration. Manmade technology is finding that the most manuverable and efficient design features really does come from nature.
Keep clicking to see our favorites or you can purchase on of Libby’s bugs at his site, Insect Lab.