Robots inspired by spiders

Kim the spider

The small spider, nicknamed Kim, can leap six times her body length from standing start compared to humans who can only jump 1.5 times their body length.

University of Manchester researchers say unlocking the secrets of her extraordinary leaps could help build a new generation of robots inspired by nature. Phidippus regius (the regal jumping spider) are known for their ability to make precision leaps onto prey, including small invertebrates and insects. Their eight eyes(four large eyes in front and four smaller eyes on the top  of their head) mean they have excellent vision. Thousands of jumping spiders worldwide hunt actively rather than catching prey in a web and phidippus regius is one of these spiders.

The research team found the spider used different jumping strategies including energy-efficient jumps over long distances and faster,  lower trajectory jumps for speed and accuracy.

“The force on the legs at take-off can be up to five times the weight of the spider – this is amazing and if we can understand these biomechanics we can apply them to other areas of research,” Dr Nabawy- an aeronautical engineer who is interested in designing new types of flying and jumping robots.

 

To find out more, go to https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-25227-9

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