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A young RTU researcher from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Transport and Aeronautics Mārcis Eimanis has developed an autonomous robot with unconventional drive, which can move by land, under water, as well as in loose materials and pipes. Developing this technology on the micro-scale, in future it will be possible to manufacture such robots for medical purposes to be used in human blood vessels.
Developing the robot, a doctoral student of RTU found his inspiration in bacteria, which swim in liquids by rotating their flagella. Similar to bacteria, the robot moves using the driving force generated by rotating the face-to-face directed wires in its front and rear parts. The robot has been called ‘Durbis’, this name is a blend of two Latvian words ‘dubults’ (double) and ‘urbis’(drill) alluding to its working principle.
M. Eimanis maintains, «Working on my Doctoral Thesis, I developed the prototype with one single aim – to prove that this type of drive is operational. Oppositely directed, that is, directed towards each other wires placed on one axis while rotating generate the driving force. Thus, the robot can move both forward and backwards. In turn, the hinge joint placed in the middle section of ‘Durbis’ ensures the robot’s capacity to change directions and move upwards, downward and sideways.»
Using this type of drive, it is possible to produce land and underwater robots for research and military purposes. As the robot is capable to move in granular environments, ‘Durbis’ could be potentially used in agriculture, for example, to loosen not excessively dense substances. Adapting the size and materials, it would be possible to design robots for pipe maintenance, at the same time, developing the technology on the micro-scale in future it would be possible to produce robots that could be used in human blood vessels to conduct medical procedures.