Researchers taking power of locust to new heights

05 Jan, 2016 1:37 pm

LONDON – With the power of the locust… researchers say they’re jumping into the future of autonomous technology. And their six-legged grasshopper friends are not just along for the ride. They are the inspiration.

“The locust uses mechanical energy in addition to its muscle force in order to generate a jump and this is exactly what we are imitating or what we are inspired by.”

By examining the jumping movements of the locust, the researchers, sought to build on past attempts for a better, improved robot. And by using carbon rods, steel springs and 3D printed plastic pieces, they created the robot.

This single lithium battery-powered robot can jump up to 11.5 feet.


“We are using a tiny motor that generates, or stores mechanical energy, and this mechanical energy in springs is actually very similar to the locust legs is what propels the robot into the air,” said the researchers. “What you do with it is whatever is needed whenever you want to engage any kind of robotic system with no human interference or intervention at all. It could be used in rescue and oil clean spills, I mean, whatever you can come up with”.

And right now they’re trying to come up with more money, so they can make their robot jump higher and maybe even fly… just like the locust. –Reuters




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