DASH: Resilient High-Speed 16-gram Hexapedal Robot – 11043
DASH (Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod) is a resilient high-speed 16-gram hexapedal robot. Developed by P. Birkmeyer & R.S. Fearing, Biomimetic Millisystems Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley. Video presented at IEEE IROS 2009. 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.
DASH Roachbot Learns Acrobatic Flips from Real Cockroach
DASH, UC Berkeley’s 10-centimeter long, 16-gram Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod, has learned a new trick: the robot can now perform “rapid inversion” maneuvers, dashing up to a ledge and then swinging itself around to end up underneath the ledge and upside-down. This replicates behaviors in cockroaches and geckos, and may lead to a new generation of acrobatically-inclined insectobots.
Cockroaches have a notorious (and much hated) ability to vanish from sight before your brain even decides you should take a swat at it. And if you’ve ever tried to chase down a gecko , you know that they’re not just fast, but they’re also incredibly agile. These abilities stem in great part from the fact that cockroaches and geckos are small and light, and consequently don’t have to overcome much inertia when changing direction. We’ve only recently been able to take advantage of technologies that allow for the creation of robots at similar scales, and such robots (like DASH) exhibit impressive speed and agility.
Recently, researchers at UC Berkeley’s PolyPEDAL Lab, led by Professor Robert Full, demonstrated that cockroaches can perform “rapid inversions” on a ledge, a previously unknown behavior. Surprisingly, while on a vacation research trip at the Wildlife Reserves near Singapore, the researchers discovered a similar behavior in lizards and documented geckos using this technique in the jungle to escape predators and nosy scientists. Next, Full’s group teamed up with roboticists from Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab to see if DASH could be taught to do the same sort of thing. Sure it could: