Making Better Robots
June 7, 2012 11:27 AM   Subscribe

The Bionimetric Millisystems Lab at UC Berkeley has made a new discovery in cockroach stealth behavior, or rapid inversion. The acrobatic jumping maneuver retains 75% of running energy and is being ported to a robotic prototype, the Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod (DASH). That is all.
posted by obscurator (21 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nature's awesome. That said, I don't know that I've ever felt compassion for a cockroach before, but it hurt to watch that guy fall over and over. I'd make a damn poor scientist.
posted by Mooski at 11:33 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, if the future is going to involve lots of robots scuttling around, exactly like cockroaches, I officially don't like the future.
posted by Malor at 11:38 AM on June 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Normal person: Cockroach!!! Ewwwww!!! Step on that thing!!!

Scientist: Cockroach!!! Awesome!!! Let's turn it into a robot!!!
posted by tommasz at 11:44 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Once these robots discover Twinkies, Skynet will decide that it officially no longer needs us...
posted by schmod at 11:51 AM on June 7, 2012


I, for one, welcome our robotic cockroach overlords.
posted by trip and a half at 11:51 AM on June 7, 2012


That should be "Biomimetic", not "Bionimetric" in the first link.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 12:00 PM on June 7, 2012


Just keep them away from Gene Simmons, and you're fine.
posted by chambers at 12:11 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cockroaches in person give me a major case of the school girl screams. However, watching them in slow motion on film is fascinating. They are really amazingly evolved animals, and I feel deep respect for their adaptability and versatility, and thus ability to survive.

That said, excuse me I need to spray Raid and put down borax and coco powder around all my doors and windows. It is Georgia in the summer, after all.
posted by strixus at 1:00 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Normal person: Cockroach!!! Ewwwww!!! Step on that thing!!!

Scientist: Cockroach!!! Awesome!!! Let's turn it into a robot!!!


But first, let's saw off his foot claws and see what happens....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:18 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is it wrong that I cheered right up when I saw that little fucker cockroach fail and fall on its back over and over?
posted by aspo at 1:22 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Claw ablation.
posted by ook at 1:32 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, I just realized that the gecko deserves its own post. Flippin' adorable!
posted by obscurator at 1:36 PM on June 7, 2012


> That said, excuse me I need to spray Raid and put down borax and coco powder around all my doors and windows.

Robot cockroaches laugh at your Raid. Tiny, tiny, papery little laughs. But billions, and billions, and billions. (That's actually what you're hearing when you listen to what they told you was "the sea" in a seashell.)
posted by jfuller at 1:52 PM on June 7, 2012


Trial 1: Subjected cockroach to loud noise. Cockroach runs away.
Trial 2: Amputated one leg. Subjected cockroach to loud noise. Cockroach runs away.
Trial 3: Amputated another leg. Subjected cockroach to loud noise. Cockroach runs away.
Trial 4: Amputated another leg. Subjected cockroach to loud noise. Cockroach walks away.
Trial 5: Amputated another leg. Subjected cockroach to loud noise. Cockroach crawls away.
Trial 6: Amputated another leg. Subjected cockroach to loud noise. Cockroach barely crawls away.
Trial 7: Amputated another leg. Subjected cockroach to loud noise. Cockroach does not react.

Conclusion: Leg amputation causes hearing loss in cockroaches.
posted by Behemoth at 2:32 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, I'm just going to put this out there for consideration:

No.
posted by R. Schlock at 2:34 PM on June 7, 2012


Frog JUMP!
posted by Splunge at 3:11 PM on June 7, 2012


I felt like a dick but I laughed heartily at the ablated attempts at inversion. Poor lil dude. :(
posted by basicchannel at 4:14 PM on June 7, 2012


I have to admit I felt bad for the mutilated cockroach, whose difficulty is apparent even before he makes it to the ledge.

Of course, I have never lived in a place where cockroaches are endemic, either.
posted by rhombus at 4:34 PM on June 7, 2012


There are cockroaches in hell, I'm sure of it. Fear them. They will soon take over the earth, for they've already taken over the minds of scientists and are forcing them to build robotic engines for their use.

They say cockroaches couldn't survive a nuclear bomb, but I don't trust those little bastards.
posted by BlueHorse at 4:46 PM on June 7, 2012


Thanks for fueling my nightmares. Tiny robotic cockroaches with pulsing red eyes.
posted by arcticseal at 8:09 PM on June 7, 2012


OK, so the robot inverts at the edge, and is now upside down.

Have they got enough adhesion for it to function there?

What real-world problem does this solve?
posted by IAmBroom at 12:06 AM on June 8, 2012


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