Iím a Mindstorms EV3 robot. I eat aphids just like a real ladybird! Watch the video and discover how I chase insects.
About this creation
Aphids or lice are small insects that suck sap from leaves. The Oleander aphid (or Aphis nerii Boyer de Fonscolombe) has a bright yellow color and lives among others at oleander plants. Note the fluid droplets at the top of the chronicles which are meant to poison enemies like the ladybug.
Photos of real aphids were used to design the Lego insect. Like the photo at the left: "Aphid feeding on sap" by Sanjay Acharya own work licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Aphid walking mechanism
The aphid is remote controlled by Lego Power Functions. Itís legs are driven by two M-motors. Both left & right legs apply two crankshafts to realize walking motion.
The right photo shows two bevel gear sets needed to transmit power from the motors to the legs. Due to the high torque level deformation of the bevel gears can occur resulting in slip between gears. A short flex tube functions as an axial bearing to prevent slip due to deformation of the large gear wheels.
Ladybug hunting aphids
The aphid has an EV3 beacon inside which sends infrared signals. The ladybird detects this signal with her infrared sensor and drives towards the aphid by a control algorithm in the software program. As soon as the ladybird hits the aphid at the back power is shut off. Consequently the aphid is unable to move any longer and declared dead.