RESEARCH: In the Eyes of the Kinetic Ant
‘ALTERNATING TRIPOD’ SYSTEM
I built my sketch models based off prior research about an ant’s movement, where they walk with alternating legs.
SKETCH MODEL 1
Thorax of an ant with all 6 legs.
The downside to this mechanism is that both sides of the wire have to be pulled in opposite directions at the same time in order for all the legs to move in sync. As seen in the gif, only three legs move when one side is pulled.
SKETCH MODEL 2
Thorax of an ant with 4 legs.
Here I focused on four moving legs, because in a relationship with an aphid, the ant would be carrying the aphid with its two front legs and walking on only four legs.
This sketch model comes with a much better mechanism, where the twist of the disc in the centre makes movement in all the legs.
Thinking ahead in coming up with a model with the aphid, Nok Wan and I wonder if we are able to incorporate even more aspects of their relationship, other than just the carrying, as there would not be any movement from the aphid.
From Nok’s aphid research, we found that the aphid free falls from plants whenever danger approaches, and we also found that ants help to ‘milk’ aphids, stroking them to produce honeydew. Hence, we wonder if we could incorporate a sort of system where the aphid falls into the ant’s “arms”, where there can then be some sort of scent or interesting sight produced. Potential ideas include using bath bombs and vitamin C tablets.