Clear hydrogel robots that can quickly move and exert measurable force were inspired by glass eels, "tiny, transparent, hydrogel-like eel larvae that hatch in the ocean and eventually migrate to their natural river habitats." Read the rest
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory just released a video of their latest adhesion technologies designed for use in space. Read the rest
Jerboas, tiny desert rodents that move like kangaroos, are notoriously hard to film. BBC Earth was able to film a jerboa's escape from a fox, and its unique shape has now inspired a robot:
Jerboas use their long tails to transfer energy to their legs, allowing them to hop many times their body length. It turns out the hair on the bottoms of their their feet also serves a number of purposes, including insulation, traction, and stealth on the sand.
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Researchers led by Je-Sung Koh created a biomimetic robot that floats using surface tension and can jump from the surface of water like a water strider insect. Read the rest
The fields of bioinspiration and biomimetics look at animal evolution to improve machine function. Chen Li at UC Berkeley's Poly-PEDAL Lab found that an oval cockroach shell atop a small robot helps it squeeze through tight spaces more easily. Read the rest