LOADING ...

This Locust Robot Jumps 11 Feet High and Could Scour Disaster Zones

Bryan Lufkin Dec 23, 2015. 1 comments

Locusts get a bad rap—noise and plagues!—but they’ve inspired Israeli engineers to make bug-like robots that could be a godsend in emergencies.

A team at Tel Aviv University has developed a five-inch long, locust-inspired robot that weighs an ounce and jumps a whopping 11 feet high and 4.5 feet wide. Their findings were published last month in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. Given its agility and feather-like weight, it could hop along any terrain and gather data in hard-to-reach nooks and crannies for crisis responders and search-and-rescue squads.

Miniature robots like these are of particular interest to engineers, since they’re cheap and quick to make. This little guy’s body is made out of 3D-printed ABS plastic (the same material that’s used to make Legos) and has carbon rods for legs. The battery-powered bug catapults itself by first bending its legs, then snaps them into place at the joint, and finally unlocks a flexor “muscle” in the upper leg. That sudden burst of energy triggers a kick-like motion that flings the thing into the air, similar to a real locust’s locomotion.

The animal kingdom is a popular place for roboticists look for design ideas. Earlier this year, the Marines unveiled a four-legged, mini-Big Dog that could scout dangerous buildings ahead of troops. The University of Pennsylvania, meanwhile, has been focusing on biomimetic drones : UAVs that have eagle-inspired grasping claws and ant-like AI that lets flocks of drones gather and fly in tightly choreographed swarms.

“Jumping is one of nature’s solutions to the challenge of mobility in difficult terrain,” the Tel Aviv University paper states. Sending tiny jumping robots to go where humans can’t in earthquake-ravaged cities or ruined nuclear plants could make search-and-rescue easier. So, thanks, pests of the world: you continually inspire scientists to develop potentially life-saving technology.

[Tel Aviv University via Gizmag]

Images courtesy Tel Aviv University

1 Comments

Other Bryan Lufkin's posts

Postal Drones Are Coming, And Everything Else You Missed Yesterday Postal Drones Are Coming, And Everything Else You Missed Yesterday

The Swiss want to replace postal workers with drones, a new Yahoo program reportedly enters the mobile search arena, and Sony will let you take photos without lifting a finger. BitStream is the all the news tidbits and rumors you missed in the last 24 hours.Postal workers may soon go the way of the milkman... in Switzerland, at least....

Start Your Day With These Great Cartoony Science Explainers Start Your Day With These Great Cartoony Science Explainers

If you want to learn more about science but shudder at the thought of cracking open another text book, how does watching colorful animations about the length of a pop song sound? Better? Head over to YouTube channel Kurz Gesagt, which has beautiful educational videos in spades.German for “in a nutshell,” the channel has nearly 700,000 subscribers. The videos...

The Best YouTube Channel for Film Nerds The Best YouTube Channel for Film Nerds

Okay, you’re reading Gizmodo, so there’s a good chance you’re a tech nerd. But are you a double-whammy tech and film nerd? If so, scope out CineFix, a YouTube channel brimming with videos about the movie world, from GCI to stunts to DIY 8-bit Hollywood remakes.Chances are you’ve at least stumbled upon one of their videos. The channel has...

You Must Watch This Great Computer-Obsessed YouTube Channel You Must Watch This Great Computer-Obsessed YouTube Channel

Do you like computers? The good folks at YouTube’s Computerphile really like them. In case you’re not familiar, let me introduce you to Numberphile’s equally nerdy, equally fantastic sister site that demystifies computer science.Nearly 400,000 subscribers strong, videos dive into 3D X-ray images, the disadvantages of JPEGs, the end of Moore’s Law, how hyperlinks work, augmented reality, old Ataris,...

Suggested posts

Westworld's Comic-Con Panel Dove Into the Murky Ethics of A.I., in Our World and Delos' Westworld's Comic-Con Panel Dove Into the Murky Ethics of A.I., in Our World and Delos'

More than a year has passed since we got the explosive finale of Westworld season two and it’ll be several more months until we find out what happens next. However, at Comic-Con 2019, the show’s creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy took the stage with stars Thandie Newton, Aaron Paul, Tessa Thompson , Evan Rachel Wood, and Jeffrey Wright,...

The Big Difference Between Westworld's New Robots and Old Ones Isn't Just Skin Deep The Big Difference Between Westworld's New Robots and Old Ones Isn't Just Skin Deep

Westworld isn’t due back until 2020, and we’ll definitely be getting more details Saturday when it takes over Comic Con’s Hall H (of which we’ll be in attendance), but some new information has already been released, including details about the new flesh free robots first seen in the teaser back in April .According to Entertainment Weekly, the fun fella...

Elon Musk's Neuralink Says It's Created Brain-Reading 'Threads,' Surgical Robot That Inserts Them Elon Musk's Neuralink Says It's Created Brain-Reading 'Threads,' Surgical Robot That Inserts Them

On Tuesday evening in San Francisco, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk finally shed some light on what Neuralink, his company that has raised $158 million to develop “ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers,” has been up to since its launch in 2017.In the livestreamed announcement, Musk expressed his long-held concern that humans would be...

French Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides, Which Bees May Find Addictive, Goes Into Effect French Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides, Which Bees May Find Addictive, Goes Into Effect

A French ban on five neonicotinoid pesticides intended to protect the nation’s bees from colony collapse disorder went into effect on Saturday, Agence France-Press reported.Per AFP, the French rules ban all five neonicotinoid pesticides once cleared for use throughout the continent. Earlier this year, the European Union upheld a moratorium of three out of five types of neonicotinoid pesticides...

Rest in Peace, Cat That Broke Into New Orleans Substation and Blew Out Power to Thousands Rest in Peace, Cat That Broke Into New Orleans Substation and Blew Out Power to Thousands

A cat that broke into an electrical substation and unfortunately perished after coming into contact with high-voltage equipment was responsible for a power outage that affected some 7,500 Entergy customers in New Orleans on Monday morning, the Advocate wrote.In a statement to the paper, Entergy wrote that the cat caused a “flash” (i.e., the very dangerous expulsion of large...

Anyone Can Be a 3D Printing Artist With the Help of a Robot Arm Anyone Can Be a 3D Printing Artist With the Help of a Robot Arm

Your browser does not support HTML5 video tag.Click here to view original GIFHandheld 3D printing pens seem like a cheaper alternative to those giant autonomous boxes, but they require more patience than most of us can muster, and a decent level of artistic capability. This robot arm can help with the latter, by controlling where the pen can move to...

We're Going to Mistake the Drones of the Future for Annoying Flying Insects We're Going to Mistake the Drones of the Future for Annoying Flying Insects

Your browser does not support HTML5 video tag.Click here to view original GIFGIF: Harvard School of Engineering (YouTube)Harvard’s robotic flying bee has been in development for well over a decade now. And despite its incredibly simple design, over the past few years, its creators have improved Robobee’s capabilities, adding abilities such as the ability to hover and even steer itself...

Thanos Gets a Suitably Smug Avengers: Endgame Figure, and More of the Most Triumphant Toys of the Week Thanos Gets a Suitably Smug Avengers: Endgame Figure, and More of the Most Triumphant Toys of the Week

Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular round up of all the future drains on our wallets we’ve seen on the internet lately. This week, Avengers: Endgame comes to Hot Toys, Wolverine gets a truly ridiculous samurai re-imagining, and you can be on Detective Pikachu’s case with a truly adorable hat. Check it out! Tamashii Nations Marvel Manga Realization Outlaw...

Escaped Boa Constrictor Slithers Its Way Into Goodwill Donations Escaped Boa Constrictor Slithers Its Way Into Goodwill Donations

Workers at a Goodwill sorting facility in Fort Worth, Texas were stunned to discover a live, albino red-tailed boa constrictor mixed in with donations on Thursday, NBC New York reported this week.NBC wrote that this particular reptile friend was found in a pile of clothing and could have come from any of Goodwill’s 38 donation centers in the Fort...

Boston Dynamics ha estado usando sus perturbadores perros robot para entregar paquetes en la ciudad Boston Dynamics ha estado usando sus perturbadores perros robot para entregar paquetes en la ciudad

Your browser does not support HTML5 video tag.Click here to view original GIFLos robots de esta Boston Dynamics son obras maestras de la ingeniería, pero hasta ahora no han logrado encontrarles un propósito comercial. Es por esto que están comenzando a experimentar, incluyendo usar robots como mensajeros. Lo nuevo de Boston Dynamics es el robot doméstico más inquietante que puedes...

Language