Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The most realistic cockroach robot yet

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.


Marena Drlik said...

Can this technology be used for transportation of humans or human goods? As in a bus that works like DASH or a car? Or maybe a train that runs along already existing train tracks? Is similar technology used for the robots that went to Mars?

This was really cool and very exciting to see. Thanks

Mike Merchant, PhD said...

Your guess is as good as mine. I suspect the military will be interested for sniffing bombs and maybe delivering nasties. Can you imagine how scary a bunch of these coming at you would be?