Researchers at Tufts University have created a robot that mimics the caterpillar behavior of ballistic rolling, in which the caterpillar curls up into a wheel and rolls away at very high speed. From Discovery.com:
A robot that mimics one of the caterpillar’s trickiest moves, escaping predators by curling into a wheel and rolling away, has been built by researchers from Tufts University. They hope this new form of locomotion will allow crawling bots to explore tricky danger zones, aid in search-and-rescue operations or even explore for hidden treasure.
“The most difficult part was getting it to actually do a roll,” said Huai-Ti Lin, author of the new paper in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. “There were a lot of trials, and a lot of sleeping in the lab. It was worth it. Once we got it to work, we optimized it and now we are matching the performance of the caterpillar.”
Lin and colleagues at Tufts University department of biology, where he just completed his doctoral degree, spent three years designing the 10-centimeter-long “GoQBot” out of silicone rubber and alloy coils. While experts have built devices that crawl like caterpillars, it’s the first time that they’ve figured out how to make a robot roll like one.
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground” – Adafruit’s Apps!
Maker Business — “Back to the Roots” – fish tank that grows food (cool maker company)
Wearables — Shower curtain sequins
Electronics — When to opt for alkaline batteries
Biohacking — BBC Biohacking: Technology and Health
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.