Washington: Scientists have designed a new type of self righting robots inspired by the the ability of click beetles to right themselves without the use of their legs.
Robots perform many tasks that humans can not or do not want to perform, getting around on intricately designed wheels and limbs. If they tip over, however, they are rendered almost useless, researchers said.
"This idea came to life when a group of insect physiology students decided to take a closer look at what makes click beetles jump as part of a class project," said Marianne Alleyne, research scientist at University of Illinois in the US.
The beetles have a unique hinge-like mechanism between their heads and abdomens that makes a clicking sound when initiated and allows them to flip into the air and back onto their feet when they are knocked over, Alleyne said.
The researchers looked at several species of click beetles, ranging in size from a few just few millimetres to several centimetres in length.
The group has already built several prototypes of a hinge-like, spring-loaded device that will eventually be incorporated into a robot, the researchers said.
The findings were presented at Living Machines 2017: The 6th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems at Stanford University in the US.