Researchers at the University of California- Berkeley just unveiled the latest version of their unique robotic roach — they call it the X2-VelociRoach.
The X2 is modeled after the first VelociRoach, which, when it was built, was the world’s second fastest legged robot with a top speed of 7 mph. The new X2 offers improved materials and can hit speeds up to 11 mph (or 45 strides per second).
Check out the video below to see the X2-VelociRoach in action:
According to Popular Science…
“The X2’s new body replaces rubber legs with fiberglass ones. For flexible joints, Kevlar, that legendarily strong material known for stopping bullets, proved too weak, so the researchers turned instead to rip-stop nylon.”
One of the researchers’ main goals was to make the robot as fast as possible. But while the motors that move the X2’s legs could potentially be sped up, the design team says that the robot’s material would be unable to handle any higher frequencies without losing appendages.
Until the researchers find a material that can manage these higher frequencies, it seems that the speed of this little guy is maxed out. In the meantime, the team is looking for other ways to improve their design by giving the robot more applications.
One task the roach has been used for is launching a small robotic bird into flight. Check out the video below to see for yourself…
Read more from UC Berkeley here.