DASH Hexapedal Cockroach-Inspired Robot Survives Large Falls, Dashes Off

 

Halloween is approaching, so how about ... DIY cockroach robot!

The Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod, aptly abbreviated DASH, really moves. It's a high-speed six-legged runner that can be built in an hour using basically cardboard and polymer sheets for its frame.

Well, it helps if you have a laser cutter and a PhD in robotics.

Created by Paul Birkmeyer and Prof. Ronald Fearing at the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab at UC Berkeley, DASH is extremely lightweight (16 grams) and uses a single DC motor to power the legs and a small servomotor to slightly deform the robot's body, making it turn left or right.

dash robot

The little robot can reach speeds of 1.5 meters per second and is flexible/strong enough to be dropped from a height of 28 meters without breaking. It picks up and dashes off again.

Just be careful about running the robot near people who are squeamish about insects -- or DASH might get smashed.

Video: Biomimetic Millisystems Lab, UC Berkeley

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