Cockroach Inspires Robot that Squeezes Through Cracks

“What’s impressive about these cockroaches is that they can run as fast through a quarter-inch gap as a half-inch gap, by reorienting their legs completely out to the side,” said study leader Kaushik Jayaram, who recently obtained his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and is now a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. “They’re about half an inch tall when they run freely, but can squish their bodies to one-tenth of an inch — the height of two stacked pennies.”

Roaches traversing crevices, Jayaram found, can withstand forces 900 times their body weight without injury.

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