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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Caterpillars inspire new movements in soft robots

The Institute of Physics
April 27, 2011

Researchers have been examining the diverse behaviours of caterpillars to find solutions for the new generation of search and rescue soft robots.

Despite their extreme flexibility and adaptability, current soft-bodied robots are often limited by their slow speed, leading the researchers to turn to terrestrial soft-bodied animals for inspiration.

Some caterpillars have the extraordinary ability to rapidly curl themselves into a wheel and propel themselves away from predators. This highly dynamic process, called ballistic rolling, is one of the fastest wheeling behaviours in nature.
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