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Discovery
Insects Inspire Robot Design

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Photos of cockroach and robot showing how they are used to refine robotic design.

The research methodology John Schmitt and his collaborators use is an iterative process that utilizes animal experiments and reduced-order locomotion models to inform robotic design. The models aid the development and testing of high-level control strategies that can produce robust and efficient locomotion. Comparison of the animal dynamics to both the reduced-order model and robotic dynamics can test our understanding of the underlying principles that animals employ to achieve their remarkable locomotion performance.

Credit: Robert Full, University of California, Berkeley, and Jonathan Clark, Florida State University


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Illustration showing cockroach as point mass and forces on cockroach legs modeled as linear spring.

Illustration of the reduced-order, lateral-plane model utilized for investigating locomotion performance on inclines. The cockroach is modeled by a point mass and the forces produced by the tripod of legs of the cockroach are modeled with a single, actuated linear spring.

Credit: John Schmitt, Oregon State University


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Photo of Oregon State University engineer John Schmitt.

Oregon State University engineer John Schmitt.

Credit: John Schmitt, Oregon State University


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