Although scientists have long been inspired by natural mechanisms to create all kinds of capture systems, researchers at the University of Rice have decided not to copy natural solutions but to use them directly.
Unlike mammals whose limbs are driven by muscle contractions, spiders use a type of "hydraulics", which has a special organ at the front of the body that causes limbs to shrink and relax.
The Texas University of Rice team developed a mechanism to manually initiate such movements in dead spiders, and scientists called the area of study necrobotics.
After euthanasia, the spider in its suture — the part of the body responsible for the hydraulics — is introduced into the body with a needle attached to the body with glue drops. By means of a syringe, soms are injected into the cell or pumped into the cell, forcing the limbs to move. During experiments, dead spider-based captures could raise the weight by 130% over the weight of the spiders themselves. According to researchers, one spider is enough to cover about 1,000 opening/closed cycles before the tissue begins to degradate. Scientists do not rule out that polymeric coating would increase the life of such "kiborgs".
Researchers emphasize that their work is very practical when it comes to the capture, movement and installation of small objects, such as microelectronics, and also remind scientists that the spiders themselves are biodegradable, so their use will not damage the environment, as opposed to the use of traditional robotic solutions. The results of the study have recently been published in Advanced Science.