Sunday, 1 October 2017

Click beetles inspire design of self-righting robots

September 25, 2017 by Lois Yoksoulian

Robots perform many tasks that humans can't or don't want to perform, getting around on intricately designed wheels and limbs. If they tip over, however, they are rendered almost useless. A team of University of Illinois mechanical engineers and entomologists are looking to click beetles, who can right themselves without the use of their legs, to solve this robotics challenge.

The researchers presented their findings at Living Machines 2017: The 6th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems at Stanford University, and later won second place in a student and faculty research competition at the international BIOMinnovate Challenge, in Paris, France - a research expo that showcases biologically-inspired design in engineering, medicine and architecture.

"This idea came to life when a group of insect physiology students decided to take a closer look at what makes click beetles jump as part of a class project," said department of entomology research scientist and study co-author Marianne Alleyne.

The beetles have a unique hinge-like mechanism between their heads and abdomens that makes a clicking sound when initiated and allows them to flip into the air and back onto their feet when they are knocked over, Alleyne said.

"Very little research had been performed on these beetles, and I thought this legless jumping mechanism would be a perfect candidate for further exploration in the field of bioinspiration," said Alleyne, who teaches a bioinspiration design course with mechanical sciences and engineering professor, co-author and lead investigator Aimy Wissa.


No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis