To navigate and navigate in the openspace, robots need beacons or an external signal, say, GPS. Engineers from Aix-Marseille University and the CNRS Institute have created AntBot, a design that does without it. The creators of the novelty were inspired by the systemic navigation of Cataglyphis ants living in the desert.
As a rule, ordinary ants reservepheromone trail. But in the desert everything dries instantly, so Cataglyphis has to navigate differently. The eyes of these insects in any weather take polarized light streams. Also, counting the steps, they remember the distance between objects.
AntBot has an optical compass that recognizespolarized light and helping to navigate. The robot can calculate how long it has gone, using an optical distance sensor. So the device can move in a radius of 14 m, determining the position to within centimeter. AntBot works completely autonomously, being lost, however, on too rough terrain, when reference objects are obscured by relief. The device weighs 2.3 kilograms and does not carry any good so far.