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Drone made with spider silk for lighter and stronger performance

Spidey Tek is currently working on the design of a much larger version of the drone, which will have a wing-span of over 10 feet.

30th November 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Los Angeles, CA

Protective, Medical/Hygiene, Civil Engineering

Spidey Tek, a Los Angeles, CA, based biotech company, is on its path to mass production of Real Spider Silk, and its utilisation in producing superior products for civil, law enforcement and military uses. To prove Real Spider Silk can be used in solid, durable applications, Spidey Tek has announced the debut of the Spidey Bat, which uses Real Spider Silk to deliver a unique VTOL UAV that is lighter and stronger.

This means it can carry a larger payload, fly further and is almost indestructible, according to the manufacturer. “The Spidey Bat is unique in that it can take off and land like a helicopter and once it is at altitude, flies like a fixed-wing airplane,” the company reports.

Production of spider silk

Spider silk is an extremely strong bio-material that has been known for many decades. The challenge has always been that of harvesting it and making it commercially viable. Spidey Tek sasy it found a solution to producing large quantities of spider silk by the rapid growth of specialised spider cloned microorganisms in customised bio-reactors.

With the use of genetic engineering, Spidey Tek has been able to identify the genes that code for the production of spider silk and cloning them into specialised microorganisms (bio vectors). These bio vectors, in turn, produce Real Spider Silk proteins, which can be mixed with chemicals-materials to improve their mechanical properties.

The same proteins can be utilised in the making of Real Spider Silk fibres, which can replace materials such as carbon fibre, aluminium, steel and other materials used to make superior products, the company explains.


The industrial and commercial applications for the Spidey Bat are wide and varied for civil, law enforcement and military uses. Spidey Tek is currently working on the design of a much larger version of the Spidey Bat.

This drone will have a wing-span of over 10 feet and able to execute much larger commercial and military tasks than the initial unit with its wing-span of 30 inches. Plus, utilising the strength of its real spider silk compound, the Spidey Bat does not require a metal frame work. In full production, the Spidey Bat fuselage takes just minutes to manufacture and less than an hour to assemble, reducing the overall costs of any size Spidey Bat Drone.

Replacing carbon fibre?

Rather than focusing on the traditional textile market, Spidey Tek is skewing its expanded capabilities into areas that can make a real difference in the world. According to the manufacturer, the product can be used to replace materials such as carbon fibre, Kevlar, steel, aluminium or plastics to manufacture different products across many different platforms.

In addition, Spidey Tek's real spider silk proteins and fibres can be mixed with chemicals such as polyurethanes, polycarbonates, polypropylene, resins and materials for 3D printing (PLA & ABS).

Ordinary, natural spider silk has a tensile strength of 4,000 MPa and is 5-10 times stronger and lighter than carbon fibre that exhibits a tensile strength of 400 MPa, and is many times stronger and lighter than aluminium and steel, the company reports. In contrast, Spidey Tek's Super Spider Silk, ARACHNO, is said to exhibit a tensile strength of 40,000 MPa, which is 10 times that of the natural spider silk's tensile strength and 100 times that of carbon fibre.


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