UC Berkeley research design cockroach inspired robot

A cockroach might be the key to a scientific breakthrough in robot technology.

Researchers at UC Berkeley developed a small-sized robot based on the unique motions and capabilities of the bug, specifically to better “understand how animals can quickly transition from running on level ground to climbing up vertical walls, ” Kaushik Jayaram, a Harvard fellow and recent UC Berkeley PhD graduate who designed the robot, told The San Francisco Chronicle.

Cockroaches can travel more than 50 body lengths per second, which equates to approximately 200 miles-per-hour and have a special exoskeleton that allow the insect to quickly switch from a horizontal surface to a horizontal one, the paper reported.

The ability to attain the swift maneuver from horizontal to horizontal at high speeds is something that robots today can’t even accomplish, Jayaram said.

The ultimate goal of the robot — dubbed the Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod( DASH)- is to pair the distinctive motion abilities with different functions, such as climbing, tunneling and wedging, according to the paper.

“Integrating them will lead us towards creating highly functional robots, whose capabilities approach those of animals in real-world environments and have significant scientific, societal and economic impact in the near future, ” Jayaram said.

The team of studies detailed their project in a paper published Wednesday.

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