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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Video: Caterpillar-Inspired Robots Rock 'n' Roll
26 April 2011 7:03 pm
Forget Roy Batty, the android who easily evaded Harrison Ford in Bladerunner: Robots with superhuman speed and flexibility might look more like somersaulting caterpillars. A new soft-bodied robot made out of silicon mimics caterpillars' ballistic roll, which is among the fastest wheeling behaviors in nature. By watching videos of caterpillars at 300 frames per second (above), researchers identified how the tiny insects' uncoupled muscles fire it into a somersault to escape an annoying poke. Their 10-centimeter-long robot, named GoQBot for the Q-shape it forms as it rolls, is powered by shape memory coils that bend at three points to allow it to change its body conformation in less than 100 milliseconds. Soft-bodied robots that can both squirm into difficult spaces and change direction extremely quickly could be useful for getting into debris-strewn areas for rescues or intel gathering, the researchers report online today in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.
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