- News Home
12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
- About Us
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.
See more ScienceShots.