Stealthy robot mimics disappearing cockroaches
Berkeley scientists build robot that could someday be used by military or first responders
Computerworld - You know how cockroaches just seem to disappear before you can squash them?
Imagine if robots could do the same disappearing act.
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley are making that happen. By studying the cockroach, researchers discovered that one of the ways the pests can quickly slip from sight is by deftly flipping themselves under a ledge.
And the knowledge of how cockroaches do that can help scientists build better robots - ones that could more easily act as first responders or in a military setting.
"This work is a great example of the amazing maneuverability of animals, and how understanding the physical principles used by nature can inspire design of agile robots," said Ron Fearing, the UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer science who led the study's robotics group.
Robert Full, a Berkeley professor of integrative biology, said new knowledge about cockroaches definitely can help make better robots.
"Today, some robots are good at running, some at climbing, but very few are good at both or transitioning from one behavior to the other," added Full. "That's really the challenge now in robotics, to produce robots that can transition on complex surfaces and get into dangerous areas that first responders can't get into."
The university's biology and robotics departments teamed up to recreate the cockroaches' behavior in a six-legged robot equipped with Velcro strips on its back legs.
Scientists discovered that when they attached Velcro strips to the upper side and underside of a ledge, the robot -- dubbed DASH for Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod -- could do the same athletic and stealthy move.
According to Berkeley, Jean-Michel Mongeau, a graduate student in UC Berkeley's biophysics group, used a high-speed camera and found that cockroaches can deftly end up on the underside of edges by using their hind legs to grab the surface and swinging their bodies around and under the ledge.
- Market Overview: Digital Customer Experience Delivery Platforms Forrester states that businesses today struggle to understand and use the tools necessary to create and manage unified, multichannel digital customer experiences across...
- The Growing Demand for Rich Media This white paper discusses how IBM Customer Experience Suite Rich Media Edition can automate rich media workflows, from collaborating with creative agencies and...
- Three Best Practices to Help Enterprises Overcome BYOD Challenges The new Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) environment presents challenges for IT managers and business leaders. This paper discusses how IT managers can address those challenges,...
- Intelligent Imaging for Improved Banking Performance and Profitability A new generation of "Intelligent Imaging" solutions has emerged that is helping banks remove the burden of paper in legacy processes, like loan...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Emerging Technologies White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!