Artificial Intelligence

Cockroaches: The key to climbing robots, because we're too hard to copy

An american cockroach (Periplaneta americana), on which a radio tag is attached, is seen at the Universite libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels March 6, 2015. Isaac Planas Sitja from Spain, a researcher at the ULB conducting the experiment, said they observed "personalities" among cockroaches qualifying them in two groups: the "bold or explorers" and the "shy or cautious". During the experiment on the behaviour, analysing personality in the context of collective dynamics of these insects,  cockroaches take shelter under a red plastic circle inside an arena. Observations show that "shy" individuals spent less time exploring the arena and quickly go under one of the shelters, while those classified as "bold" took more time exploring the arena. Picture taken March 6, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman (BELGIUM - Tags: ANIMALS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

Insects are a better model for building robots than humans. Image: REUTERS/Yves Herman (BELGIUM - Tags: ANIMALS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

Dom Galeon
Writer, Futurism
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Mechanically mediated control in human technologies. (a) Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod Robot (DASH) [19] performing a rapid head-first impact transition with no sensory input. Its robust construction enables it to perform high-speed manoeuvres without suffering damage while approaching the wall at over 80 cm s−1. (b) Volkswagen Beetle after incurring significant damages during a frontal impact crash test (Courtesy: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, A typical coefficient of restitution for a front automobile bumper is ≈0.3 or 91% energy absorption. (c) Miniature (7 g) jumping robot [33] with self-recovery capabilities enabled by the robust exoskeletal cage. (d) Gimball robot with passive exoskeletal cage to use collisions for manoeuvring in cluttered environments [34]. (e) Airburr [35], an indoor flying robot designed specifically to withstand collision and self-manoeuvre using a shock-absorbing exoskeleton. (f) Insect inspired mechanically resilient multicopter [36] whose frame can undergo large deformations without permanent damage during collisions.
Mechanically mediated control in human technologies. Image: Jayaram, K., et al./Journal of the Royal Society Interface
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