Media ReleaseFrom: The Royal Society
Transition by head-on collision: Mechanically mediated maneuvers in cockroaches and small robots
Small, rapid running cockroaches use robust exoskeletons like automobile bumpers to collide head-on into obstacles and transition up a vertical wall at the fastest escape speeds possible. Instead of avoidance, animals rely on passive body shape and compliance to negotiate challenging environments. Inspired, we develop a palm-sized legged robot to execute a passive, high-speed, head-first vertical transitions. Relying on the mechanical control offered by soft exoskeletons represents a paradigm shift for understanding the control of small animals and the next generation of running, climbing, and flying robots where the use of the body can off-load the demand for rapid sensing and actuation.