Professor Dong-Il Cho, “The turtle that swam towards me… it was a reconnaissance robot sent by the enemy” (The Chosun Times, 2022.06.19)

2022-06-19l Hit 149

◇ Developed microscopic biomimetic robots for surveillance and reconnaissance by studying lifeforms such as insects

Dong-Il Cho, the director of the Defense Biomimetic Research Center at SNU, announced the current state of the development of various domestic biomimetic robots at the ‘Seminar for Unmanned and Autonomous System Development for Future Warfare Support’ hosted by
institutes such as the Korea Defense MICE Research Institute on the 16th. Professor Cho revealed the biomimetic robots that the Biomimetic Robot Research Center had developed from November 2013 to 2021 with support from the Ministry of Defense through his presentation on the topic ‘Korean micro-biomimetic robot technology for future warfare support’.
The turtle biomimetic robot developed by Professor Cho’s team. It can be used for military purposes such as surveillance. / Provided by Professor Cho’s team

◇ Also developed a robot that moves as how plants fold and unfold flower buds.

A ‘complex behavior platform’ that imitates the wings of ladybugs and a ‘blooming motion platform’ that takes the form of blooming flowers were also revealed to the media for the first time. Ladybugs have the ability to spread their wings in 0.1 seconds. The team studied the motion to develop a complex behavior platform that maximized movement efficiency. The ‘blooming motion platform’ disguises itself as a flower and remains closed during normal times, and opens the bud when it is necessary to monitor enemy movements using micro-cameras.


◇ Also developed the water strider robot, which was a hot topic 7 years ago

The water strider robot, which was a global hot topic 7 years ago in 2015, was also developed by the SNU Biomimetic Robot Research Center. The robot, which was developed by professors Kyu-Kin Cho and Ho-Young Kim of the said research center, boasted a jumping power 7 times its body length. It could jump 14.2 cm despite being only 2 cm in length. Professor Cho’s team said that they studied the water striders’ ‘water tension ability’ and applied it to the robot. The robot’s small build and its ability to leap to high heights make it suitable for missions in special environments.

The robot that moves similarly to how flower buds fold and unfold. It can be used for surveillance purposes by disguising itself as a flower to detect enemy movements.

◇ Korea’s micro-biomimetic robot convergence technology is world-class

Professor Cho said, “Researchers in other countries mainly focused on improving the functions of a specific robot”, while “Researchers at SNU have developed not only the structural and production technology to create micro-robots, but also efficient programming and sensing technologies, and communication technologies to facilitate communication between several robots.” He also emphasized that “Since micro-robot convergence technology has been developing the most intensely in Korea, if the military were to be more involved, it will be possible to secure biomimetic robot technology and systems with world-class competitiveness”.

◇ The United States and China developed reconnaissance robots that take the form of hummingbirds and pigeons
The ‘Dove Drone’, which was developed by Professor Bi Feng Song of China’s Northwest University of Technology, weighs 200 grams, and can fly for 30 minutes at the maximum speed of 49 kilometers per hour. It is said that there were cases where birds flew alongside the robot due to the robot’s ability to copy pigeons’ movement by 90%. Dove Drones have already been utilized by 30 Chinese government agencies. Biomimetic robots imitating hummingbirds and beetles appeared in the movie “Eye in the Sky” released in 2016.
The South Korean military authorities also plan to develop insect-type mobile ground robots for military use by next year based on the research results of the SNU Biomimetic Robot Research Center. It was revealed that the robot will move on its 6 legs and will be equipped with a miniature surveillance and reconnaissance sensor.

Translated by: Do-Hyung Kim, English Editor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,