The world’s fastest legged robot mimics the cheetah. The second fastest? The mighty cockroach. Not to be confused with a cyborg cockroach, VELOCIRoACH is a small, six-legged cardboard cockroach that can scramble across varying terrain and over obstacles at 3.2 meters per second (or just more than 7 miles per hour).
For its size, VELOCIRoACH is easily the fastest robot in the world--it can cover 26 of its own body lengths in the span of a second. It does so by employing legs much like those of the actual cockroach that act like springs as they hit the ground 15 times per second. At any given time three legs are touching the ground giving the robot very good stability. And, like the real thing, the cardboard cockroach can skitter right over obstacles by bouncing its front end upward and pulling itself over. It can even carry four times its body weight.
If the very motion of cockroaches doesn’t induce a skin-crawling sensation in you, check out the video below.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.