World’s Fastest Robotic Roach is Created Using 3D Printed Parts by Team at UC Berkeley

Share this Article

Don’t blink or you’ll miss it – and if you feel your skin crawl at just the thought of the darting of insects, you might be happy that you did. However, what we’re showing you here is not the super sized cockroach of your worst nightmares, but rather the X2-VelociRoACH!

x2velocir-1432506205716

Weighing in at 54 grams, it is by far the fastest legged robot of its size. This little creature moves 4.9 meters per second and its legs scurry in the fullest sense of the word. Creatures with legs (as opposed to those that fly or run on wheels) have two options if they want to go faster, as you most likely know from experience. Either they can take more steps in a shorter period of time, the Chihuahua approach let’s call it, or they can take longer steps in order to cover the distance in less time, the Great Dane method.

When designing a cockroach, there are restrictions based on the muscoskeletal system that only allow a maximum number of steps to be taken in a given period of time and so cockroaches tend to take the same number of steps while varying the length of their stride (I know, not the most pleasant thing to imagine). However, the team at UC Berkeley‘s Department Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences’ Biomimetic Millisystems Lab wasn’t designing a cockroach, as those already exist; instead, Duncan W. Haldane and Ronald S. Fearing were designing a robot and so were not constrained by biology.

ezgifcom-gif-maker (2)-1432507188412They were instead obliged not to vary the stride length of their legged creation because the legs are connected directly to the motors. Therefore, they explored the other option: number of steps taken. They maxed out at about 45 stride cycles – a wonderful bit of jargon invented to talk about the steps taken by a robot that requires motion based on circular rotations of a mechanism – and destroyed the record previously in place.

The only thing stopping them from upping the number was the laws of physics. It is certainly possible to program the creature to produce more leg cycles per second. The down side is that bits and pieces start to fly off, leaving you with significantly less robot than needed. This material failure has led to an exploration of possible graph1-1432506189642materials that can handle the stresses of such hyper scuttling.

“More dynamic performance from this robot is achievable,” the researchers say, in terms of stride frequency–if they can find ways to enhance processes or materials.

The legs on the VelociRoACH are made of fiberglass and key structures are made more robust by using 3D printed parts and it’s only the material composite that is used that fails once the robot reaches its top speeds. As the boundaries of printable composite materials continue to expand, the upper limits of the robot’s stride cycles will also rise. This means it most likely won’t be long until another team comes along with an even faster creature.

roach

However, VelociRoACH will always have a special place in my heart…as long as it never comes scurrying out from behind my refrigerator.

What do you think about this incredible robot?  Discuss in the VelociRoACH forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Voodoo Manufacturing Acquired, to Be Resurrected as a 3D Printing Zombie?

Carbon Design Engine Generates Conformal Lattices for 3D Printing



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing Webinar and Virtual Event Roundup: February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s another light week of webinars, with two from Stratasys and one from Aerosport Additive and Carbon. Read on for all the details! Stratasys and its New...

Carbon and Candid Partner to 3D Print Models for Clear Dental Aligners

There’s a new partnership in the additive dental industry: Carbon and Candid have announced that they are joining forces to 3D print accurate models for clear aligners more reliably and...

New 4D Fusio 3D Printed Shoe Line from adidas Leaked

The latest adidas sneaker with 3D printed midsoles has been revealed. Dubbed the 4D Fusio, the fluorescent-colored shoes were leaked by sneaker insider hypebeast on Instagram. The new shoe has a...

3D Printing News Briefs, January 9, 2021: SPEE3D & InFocus Laser Systems, Carbon, DMC & DyeMansion, Atomstack

In this weekend’s 3D Printing News Briefs, SPEE3D’s super-fast technology is heading to Brazil thanks to a new reseller agreement, and a former GE Additive executive has been named the...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.