Festo’s BionicANTS and eMotionButterflies are the robotics Future (+video)

Festo has come up with two different varieties of robotic creatures in an attempt to turn all those sci-fi stories involving expeditions by robot armies into reality. These new creations of the company are, of course, more realistic that their fictional counterparts.

The two robotic creatures created by Festo include BionicANTS and lightweight eMotionButterflies. Both these creations will be put up for public viewing at Germany’s Hannover Fair from April 13 to 17.

BionicANTS operates exactly like their living counterparts. They are 3D printed colonies of ants that are commanded to perform jobs assigned to them together i.e. in the same manner live ants work.

Other than being highly functional, these bionic creatures are also extremely attractive; they boast vibrant colors and intricate details. In short, they score pretty impressively when it comes to their aesthetics. This has been possible due to the application of 3D MID technology on the creatures’ laser-sintered shaped body parts.

Sources close to the company who have had the privilege of seeing the robotic ants are saying that the strategic design of these creatures is responsible for their beauty. Festo’s BionicANTS are also equipped with advanced electronics, which make them extremely functional.

The BionicANTS will use its 6 delicate legs to move around in groups and perform the job of seeing and studying objects in front of them. For performing this monitoring job, they will have real cameras fitted into their heads; their movement, on the other hand, will be powered by electricity generated by piezoelectric sensors.

Let us now come to the other creature created by Festo; they are eMotionButterflies. They are manufactured using an ultra-lightweight material and come equipped with GPS and infrared cameras. These technologies allow the robotic butterflies to fly in swarms, but without colliding with each other; they are coordinated by a series of cameras linked to a dedicated computer system.


For those who are wondering about the real world applications of the eMotionButterflies: Festo has developed these robotic butterflies to help its customers built smart factories with flawless networking and monitoring systems callable of offering continuous guidance.

In addition to the BionicANTS and eMotionButterflies, Festo has developed a third robotic entity called the FlexShapeGripper. The FlexShapeGripper can grip or hold objects of different shapes, sizes and volumes and works based on a technology modeled after the tongue of the chameleon.