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Biomimicry At Work: Ants Inspire The A.N.T. Aid Necessities Transporter

A multipurpose aid and rescue vehicle, the Aid Necessities Transporter, alias ANT, was designed by Brian Lee, a 24 year-old design student at Monash University in Australia when he submitted his entry to the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) Target 2020 competition.  It was announced this week that Lee's ANT design, inspired by the anatomy and mentality of ants, won the competition.

 

The anatomy and mentality of ants: © Brian LeeThe anatomy and mentality of ants: © Brian Lee

 

The ANT responds to the need for getting necessary supplies to victims of disasters as fast as possible. Like the ant, ANT was designed with six wheels (6 legs) and carries its supplies like the ant carries food back to its nest in its center, so does the ANT carry supplies and food on its center. 

 

ANT bringing supplies to the disaster area: © Brian LeeANT bringing supplies to the disaster area: © Brian Lee

 

Like ants, the ANT can travel over any terrain, and like ants, ANTs travel in groups for efficient relays of gathering and supply.

 

The ANT travels many terrains: © Brian LeeThe ANT travels many terrains: © Brian Lee

 

Lee acknowledges that the ANT is not capable of carrying quite as many supplies as a truck; however, it more than compensates by several features:

  • The ANT's speed and ability to travel any terrain;
  • The constant rotation of several ANTs bringing necessities in its belly at a moderate speed and to return to the supply area, empty, at a faster speed.  This is achieved by turning its front 90° to a configuration more adapted to rapid speed;
  • The ANTs ability to back up to the supply unit and attach itsef for greater ease in loading supply;
  • The ability to attach itself to the supply unit in order to use the unit for transport;


Efficient rotation with one vehicle carrying supplies and the other vehicle quickly getting back to the supply base: © Brian LeeEfficient rotation with one vehicle carrying supplies and the other vehicle quickly getting back to the supply base: © Brian Lee 
  • And to convert the supply unit into temporary housing for medical treatments.
 

ANT is converted to temporary shelter unit: © Brian LeeANT is converted to temporary shelter unit: © Brian Lee

 

Check out this video and see the ANT prototype in action.

 



 

What a vehicle!  See more images and read the inventor's own description of all the ANT functions on the  Behance Network.

 
Behance Network via Big Think
   
Comments
Oct 14, 2010
by Anonymous

Test sites for

If produced or seek Demos, I urge these:

Haiti
Chile
Peru
FL
any major disaster site alone.

& for Commercial use & US Military.

Oct 19, 2010
by Anonymous

but...

where's the engine?

Oct 20, 2010
by Anonymous

Engine? Who needs an

Engine? Who needs an engine?

It is clear that this demo is only bullshit to dazzle the masses, as is most of automotive design these days.

I worked in the field myself as an engineer: the high ups every month or so published a press release with images and videos like these to gain press visibility, but of course these "concepts" never ever leaved the computer of the 20-something kid who rendered them.

We used to make fun of this bullshit, because almost all of the people in charge of styling them did not have any basic grasp of the fundamentals. Half of them did not even knew you need brakes on the wheels, and most of those designers had no idea of the requirements of a resistant, or comfortable, pilot safety cell. Some of them totally ignored the concept of "center of mass", or did not understand the complexity of the mechanisms involved in kinematics like the one they easily model in 3D studio.

This kind of things serves no good.

Oct 20, 2010
by Anonymous

Lets all just kill ourselves...

Sometimes its just nice to do something cool...chill out

Oct 20, 2010
by Anonymous

Woah Chillax!

So it might not be entirely feasible currently, but it's an interesting concept. Isn't it a designer's job to come up with new ideas even if they cannot be realised?
Perhaps it has an electric motor connected to each wheel powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. I'm sure elements of this idea could be used in future designs in one form or another.

Oct 20, 2010
by Anonymous

Woah Chillax!

So it might not be entirely feasible currently, but it's an interesting concept. Isn't it a designer's job to come up with new ideas even if they cannot be realised?
Perhaps it has an electric motor connected to each wheel powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. I'm sure elements of this idea could be used in future designs in one form or another.

Oct 21, 2010
by Anonymous

relaaxx

I read on other websites that it has inwheel motors and integrated fuel cells in the wheels themselves. On the designers Behance website, it has more images that explains more.

Also, the designers name is spelt Bryan :)

Oct 22, 2010
by Anonymous

> Isn't it a designer's job

> Isn't it a designer's job to come up with new ideas even if they cannot be realised?

Absolutely not. An industrial designer should be able to think of cool/useful/needed products and design them within the production capabilities of a company. That's what they taught me in the design course, and I totally agree with it.

Imagining a product that cannot be built in the near future is just a ''divertissement'', a useless exercise of style. I am absolutely positive with using this exercises when developing a styling for a car body, but my experience says that when you just dream while designing a product from scratch, it ends pretty bad.

> Perhaps it has an electric motor connected to each wheel powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

Yeah, and the frame is made of unobtanium.

Apr 29, 2011
by Anonymous

LOL @ the haters

Hey man don't go busting our Happy Happy Joy Joy bubble with the dreaded REALITY pin dude. Don't you know we need to live in a complete fantasy world and be taken care of by our government and the UN? Wow, I'm like totally bummed out by getting a glimpse of reality. I know! Let's all go and vote for Barry again! Wow, that should help us all feel safe and secure in the fluffy pillows of hope and change again. Maybe the feeling will last for more than three seconds this time too!

What the poster failed to elaborate on earlier when he said "...this demo is only bullshit to dazzle the masses, as is most of automotive design these days." is that one of the UN's prime missions is Bullshit to dazzle the masses. And by the looks of things in some of the responses here, they have succeeded.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled Unicorns and Glitter.