Texas University Turning Dead Spiders Into Robots

By Ginny Reese

July 29, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Dead spiders are being repurposed for robotics in Texas. KXAN reported that Rice University is using dead spiders' legs with air to create mechanical grippers.

The experiment initiated "necrobotics." According to a research article by members of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University, necrobotics is a scientific area in which biotics are used as robotic components.

Daniel Preston, with Rice University's George R. Brown School of Engineering, said that they chose dead spiders because they are the perfect architecture and are natural grippers. Preston said, "This area of soft robotics is a lot of fun because we get to use previously untapped types of actuation and materials. The spider falls into this line of inquiry. It's something that hasn't been used before but has a lot of potential."

The mechanical engineering department plans to use the necrobotic experiments for things like pick-and-place tasks, sorting or moving object of small scale, or capturing smaller insects in nature.

Check out a video of the necrobotics below that was shared by CBS News:

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