AI News, Can a cockroach teach a robot how to scurry across rugged terrain?

Can a cockroach teach a robot how to scurry across rugged terrain?

In a crowded, windowless lab, scholars and students are coaxing the insects to share some crucial locomotion tips that could help future robotic vehicles traverse treacherous terrain.

But what earthly lifeform -- other than the one jokingly said to be able to survive even an atomic bomb blast -- is more likely to persist on dangerous alien landscape?

The team's early findings are the subject of two related research papers published in the Feb. 2 issue of the journal Bioinspiration &

The bugs contort their heads, torsos and legs until they find a way to get themselves over or across the obstacles in order to remain on course.

These videos can later be slowed down to help the researchers learn the precise travel tactics that small robots could use to surmount the same type of obstacles.

After carefully reviewing their bug videos to discover the underlying physics principles, the researchers added a 'tail' to help the robots replicate body positions that helped the real roaches get past the large bumps and gaps on the lab track.

This simple change increased the largest gap size that the robot could traverse by 50 percent and the largest bump size it could traverse by 75 percent.

'But as soon as I started working in the lab, I learned that it's actually very easy to work with them, and they're actually a very nice, fantastic model organism.

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