Necrobotics is the emerging field that studies how to use biotic material (Rea: animal body parts) as robotic components. This area of study announced a new leap forward recently as they successfully demonstrated that they can now turn dead spiders into robotic lifting machines.
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This experiment came out of Rice University, where some scientists finally searched for the answer to the question of why spiders always die with their legs curled up. Turns out, spider legs have “hydraulic pressure systems” and so, they can be re-animated and used to pick up tiny items.
After euthanizing the wolf spiders used in the experiment, scientists puffed up their abdomens with airs and attached the corpses to tiny syringes filled with air they could use to move the legs of the spider as needed. It was found that these dead spider robots could life more than one hundred percent of their body weight and that their decomposing legs would last through over a thousand “open-close” cycles before becoming too brittle to operate.
Though the contraption looks creepy, the scientists hope it can be utilized in fine electronic repair or for grasping delicate specimens. And of course, the field of necrobotics is only taking baby steps. Perhaps in the future they can do some work with larger creatures. I’m sure there can be something beneficial to humanity, such as saving damaged limbs.
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Either that or the entire idea is just pure nightmare fuel, and we’re soon to end up in a dystopian zombie wasteland in which your corpse is stripped for parts like a used car.