January 5, 2012
Leaping Lizards Inspire Robot Design
UC Berkeley, UC Berkeley
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.
TAGGED: tails, robots, lizards