27 May '16, 2am

JumpRoACH Is a Robotic Bug That Leaps and Flips Just Like an Insect

JumpRoACH Is a Robotic Bug That Leaps and Flips Just Like an Insect

In the quest for the most capable robotic bug (which is a quest that many roboticists seem to be on, because robotic bugs are nifty), some of the most exciting designs are inspired by the dynamic, multi-modal ways in which insects are conquering the world. Combining skills like running with skills like jumping can make little robots much more efficient movers, allowing them to go farther on a charge as well as helping them surmount obstacles and rough terrain. Most of the small jumping robots we’ve seen before use a spring mechanism with a latch on it. The latch makes the spring state binary: the spring gets all wound up, the latch holds it, and then disengages on command, releasing all of the energy in the spring in one go. You can get a lot of power this way, but it’s an all or nothing sort of thing, so the magnitude (height, distance, whatever) isn’t controllable. At Se...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hard...

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