September 2, 2002
Cockroachs will help build robots
According to a new study from Stanford and Berkeley Universities, sponsored by the American Physiological Society, cockroaches can give us precious tips on how mobility works, and help us design and build better robots: "a new class of biologically inspired robots that exhibit much greater robustness in performance in unstructured environments than today's robots". The study reveals that "the deathhead cockroach possesses legs with compliant muscles and skeletal components that increase dynamic stability and disturbance rejection", and concludes that "the opportunity exists to develop robots whose structures draw inspiration from such animals".
Besides, this "Biomimetics" research area has been conducted for years at Stanford, with the Sprawl robots, a complete family of hand-sized hexapedal robots (picture: the first prototype, Sprawlette) which are among the fastest and most robust legged robots built so far.

Picture: © Stanford University

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  • Sprawl Robots at Standford

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