Thursday, January 17, 2013

VelociRoACH: Robotic Cockroach (hexapedal millirobot)

The Pestilent Cockroach have been here on planet earth for millions of years, and part of the reason of their evolutionary success is the shear speed at which they move. Most of the times the best engineering solution for a problem is mimicking nature, but mimicking nature obviously is very difficult. However day by day year by year we are getting closer and closer to doing that, specifically when we talk about legged robots.
Mr.Duncan Haldane and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkely), have been studying the six-legged pests to improve their millirobots. The 'VelociRoACH' as its called is the fastest legged robot in the world at the scale, however the fastest legged robot title stays with the LS3 from Boston dynamics (The Cheetah Robot).

Taking about specifications and technical details. The VelociRoACH can move with a velocity of 2.7 m/s actually making it faster than a real cockroach which do a maximum 1.5 m/s.
The secret of the the velocity of the VelociroACH is in the shape of its legs. Shaped like a 'C' they provide the spring action need to propel the robot really fast and at the same time absorbing the impact of the legs hitting the ground almost 15 times a second. The legs are similar to that of the R-Hex from Bostan Dynamics but don't work in the same way. Its body has been fabricated out of a good type of cardboard. Although it can lift 4 times its own weight. It weighs a mere 30 grams and is 10 cm long. To keep it stable, it must have 3 of the six legs making contact with the ground all time.
I really did not understand the purpose of the attachment on the top but its probably for stabilization and to avoid it getting flipped.

Check this video


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