“Roachbot” Learns how to Flip Under Counters Like the Real Thing
Recently, researchers …demonstrated that cockroaches can perform “rapid inversions” on a ledge, a previously unknown behavior. Surprisingly, while on a research trip at the Wildlife Reserves near Singapore, the researchers discovered a similar behavior in lizards and documented geckos using this technique in the jungle…
Next, Full’s group teamed up with roboticists from Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab to see if DASH could be taught to do the same sort of thing. Sure it could:
Video: PolyPEDAL Lab
DASH, unlike cockroaches or geckos (or CLASH, for that matter), doesn’t come with claws, so the researchers “simulated claw action” by sticking some Velcro onto DASH’s front and hind legs, and then adding more Velcro to the top and underside of the ledge to form pivot and catch points.
Image: PLoS One
…the Berkeley researchers have started to develop designs for both active and passive bio-inspired claws. With the ability to naturally stick to surfaces and these new acrobatic tricks, the UC Berkeley teams say DASH could soon be able to make speedy transitions between running and climbing, eventually leading to”highly mobile sentinel and search-and-rescue robots that assist us during natural and human-made disasters.”