January 5, 2012

Leaping Lizards Inspire Robot Design

UC Berkeley, UC Berkeley

AP Photo

University of California, Berkeley, biologists and engineers ‑ including undergraduate and graduate students ‑ studied how lizards manage to leap successfully even when they slip and stumble. They found that lizards swing their tails upward to prevent them from pitching head-over-heels into a rock.

But after the team added a tail to a robotic car named Tailbot, they discovered that counteracting the effect of a slip is not as simple as throwing your tail in the air. Instead, robots and lizards must actively adjust the angle of their tails just right to remain upright.

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TAGGED: Tails, Robots, Lizards