Researchers at University of Lausanne and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland have identified a faster way for six-legged robots to run faster on ground.
Since the pioneering photographic studies of Muybridge, it has been widely appreciated that animals use distinct gaits at different locomotor speeds. These discontinuous shifts in leg coordination are hypothesized to minimize energy consumption by changing the number and relative timing of legs in motion.
In the research published in Nature Communications, the designers of insect-inspired robots broke away with the tripod-gait paradigm and consider “bipod” gait as other possibility of locomotor strategy.
“We wanted to determine why insects use a tripod gait and identify whether it is, indeed, the fastest way for six-legged animals and robots to walk,” Indian Express qouted Indian-origin scientist Pavan Ramdya, co-lead and corresponding author of the study.
“Our findings support the idea that insects use a tripod gait to most effectively walk on surfaces in three dimensions and also because their legs have adhesive properties," said Ramdya.
The experimenters examined flies and found out that when their claws and adhesive pads were covered, they quickly began to use bipod-like leg coordination similar to the one found in robots.