AI News, Insights on fast cockroaches can help teach robots to walk

Insights on fast cockroaches can help teach robots to walk

'I was particularly surprised that a change in mechanisms stabilizing the animal's movement goes hand in hand with a change in leg coordination', Weihmann notes.

The research showed that the change in gait at high speed and on a slippery surface was accompanied by a change from static to dynamic stabilization.

'Adapting the coordination patterns of robot legs to those of fast-running cockroaches can help the robot use energy more efficiently and hence increase its endurance in an inhospitable environment.' The scientists used the organism Nauphoeta cinerea to study its locomotion on slippery and non-slippery surfaces.

Insights on fast cockroaches can help teach robots to walk

'I was particularly surprised that a change in mechanisms stabilizing the animal's movement goes hand in hand with a change in leg coordination', Weihmann notes.

An insect's slow run is very stable because its centre of gravity is low and three legs are always moving in a coordinated manner.

The research showed that the change in gait at high speed and on a slippery surface was accompanied by a change from static to dynamic stabilization.

This minimizes the need of the central nervous system to control the motion while attaining high energy efficiency.

'Our results can also contribute to solving some problems we still have with the movement of robots.' Robots with legs generally have better cross-country mobility than robots with wheels.

Thus, the cockroaches' locomotion pattern could contribute to finding a solution that would let robots run at a high speed with an acceptable expenditure of energy.

'Adapting the coordination patterns of robot legs to those of fast-running cockroaches can help the robot use energy more efficiently and hence increase its endurance in an inhospitable environment.'

Speedy cockroaches help researchers train robots to walk

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Scientists have identified a shift in the gaits of speedy cockroaches as the insects kick it into high gear.

The latest research -- published this week in the journal Frontiers in Zoology -- shows a mid-speed change in the biomechanics of a cockroach's gait characterizes its acceleration from scurry to sprint.

'I was particularly surprised that a change in mechanisms stabilizing the animal's movement goes hand in hand with a change in leg coordination,' Tom Weihmann, a zoologist at the University of Cologne in Germany, said in a news release.

The method sacrifices synchronization and coordination for speed and helps the cockroach achieve high energy efficiency without requiring input from the central nervous system.

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