Ever stay up late at night thinking about the sprawled alternating tripod gait of cockroaches? Neither have I. But fortunately for all of us, some brainy folks at the University of California at Berkeley have. They've created DASH, the Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod, certainly one of the most realistic insect robots I've seen. If nothing else, DASH help me appreciate a little more of the elegance of nature. Seeing the simplicity of cockroach running mechanics demonstrated by a machine with just a few basic "moves" gives me a better appreciation for one of our fastest pests, Periplaneta americana, or the American cockroach. It also gives me an appreciation for the advances in materials technology, not to mention the creativity of the folks at Berkeley. I'll never look at a scurrying American roach in quite the same way.
Oh and did I mention it's a little creepy at the same time? Happy Halloween.