Nature Blog Network

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cockroach legs, Gecko Feet and robots

Andrew just put up a great video post up of some recent (c. 2006) developments of Stanford's RiSE project. Watching the video I was reminded of the TED talk I watched featuring Robert Full, a Biologist and professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Full is very active in biomechanics and biologically inspired robotics and gets much of his inspiration from invertebrates such as crabs and cockroaches.

He was a speaker at TED in 2002 where he introduced the audience to the concept of self-stabilizing motion without the use of a brain. The stabilization mechanism is a part of the form itself. He shows some of the early collaborations between his lab and Stanford RiSE project on Sprawl and the University of Michigan's RHex robot. Lot's of great video of centipedes, crabs and other arthropods running on treadmills. He also talks about the discovery of gecko stickiness through van der Waals forces (DOI:10.1073/pnas.192252799).

Fast forward to 2005 when he presented at TED again and many of the things he talked about his lab working on in 2002 have been built and a new generation develoed from the lessons learned. From RHex, Sprawl and the gecko inspiration he and his collaborators have developed SpineyBot and FootBot the predecessors to StickyBot. While there is a little bit of overlap (sorta needed for the background), most of his 2005 presentation was new material. More great invert footage, biomechanics footage and a fun presentation.

1 comment:

  1. That was an awesome talk! I would love to get him out for a seminar.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.