SERVO 07/08.2018 59
The TickBot follows a
perimeter, and can
protect an area by
relief from tick
encounters for 24
hours. Photo courtesy
It seems like there’s a robot for everything these days. Well, let’s add one more: the TickBot, which is currently being
tested at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton,VA.
Created by Old Dominion University in nearby Norfolk,
the TickBot is a semi-autonomous eco-friendly robot created
to kill and collect ticks.
The TickBot works by using a magnetic sensor that
follows a metal wire strung along the ground. Dry ice loaded
into the TickBot is released as it crawls along, and the carbon
dioxide it emits causes the ticks to grab onto a piece of
cloth treated with pyrethrin: a pesticide that is non-toxic to
Langley’s Peter Van Dyke, an environmental protection
specialist, described the collection process as “fishing for
Old Dominion students, Alexis White and Amanda
DeVleeschower recently visited Langley to test the TickBot
at the center’s Child Development Center, where ticks had
been found on students. Nestled on Langley’s 764 acre
campus, the center and its playground are surrounded by
open field and forest — prime tick territory.
“The TickBot follows a predetermined perimeter, and it
can protect an area by providing immediate relief from tick
encounters for 24 hours,” White said.
The tick project started when Old Dominion’s Tick
Research Lab asked for land to do its research. Langley saw it
as a way to both kill ticks while helping the university test
for diseases and learn about migration patterns.
Purple Robotics — founded by key developers behind the world’s first collaborative robot (cobot) — has
launched the PR10: an innovative vacuum gripper
designed for collaborative applications.
It requires no external air supply or hoses and
instead creates its own vacuum using a little electrical
pump. You can plug it directly to the tool flange of a UR
robot, adjust the four flexible vacuum arms, and become
operational 30 minutes after you take it out of the box.