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South Korea to Develop Insect-Inspired Reconnaissance Microrobots

South Korea is planning to develop insect-inspired microrobots capable of performing covert surveillance and reconnaissance missions, a state-owned military technology agency has announced.

The Korea Research Institute for Defense Technology Planning and Advancement (KRIT) said that the cutting-edge technology would be designed to infiltrate enemy camps without being detected.

The ant and bee-shaped robots could operate in groups to collectively solve problems and fulfill missions with the help of a swarm robotics system.

South Korean defense firm LIG Nex1 will carry out the majority of the work for the project in cooperation with Seoul National University, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, and KRIT.

Funding for the five-year project is estimated at 28.8 billion won ($23.5 million). It is expected to be complete by 2027.

‘Preparing for Future Warfare’

As part of the multimillion-dollar project, the Asian nation has set core tasks that include developing robot operations mechanisms and creating technologies for stable and uninterrupted communication and networking.

The developers also seek to establish situation recognition systems and sensor systems to enable the microrobots to move, plan routes, and avoid obstacles.

“We are still facing innumerable technical challenges to develop micro insect-like reconnaissance robots for military use,” Seoul National University professor Cho Kyu-jin told The Korea Herald. “But our goal is to perfect the technology to enable the military to utilize it for advanced military capabilities.”

The project is reportedly South Korea’s first to design and produce advanced, miniaturized military spy robots in preparation for future warfare.

Once developed and tested, Cho said that the country could become a global leader in the field.

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