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.
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