When it comes to deciding on a form of locomotion for their creations, roboticists have plenty of options to choose from. While many go for the tried and tested tank-like tracks or wheels, nature is also a veritable treasure trove of inspiration. That’s just where Fraunhofer researchers have turned with a new eight-legged robot modeled on the same principle that moves spider legs. Not only does the design give the spiderbot the agility and stability of real spiders when getting around on the ground, it also features special joints that allow it to jump.
Like its biological brethren, the spiderbot is extremely stable, keeping four of its legs on the ground at any one time while the remaining four legs turn and ready themselves for the next step. Diagonally opposed members can also move simultaneously and bending the front pairs of legs pulls the spiderbot’s body along, while stretching the rear legs pushes it.