Researchers Develop Robots for All Terrain - Infused from lizards

Robots may one day overcome obstacles and overcome uneven terrain through collaborative research that analyzes lizard movements.

University of Queensland researchers used a slow-motion camera to capture the movements of eight Australian agamid lizard species walking on two legs. The movement is known as 'bipedal' movement.

Nicholas Wu, a researcher at the UQ School of Biological Sciences, said that the results of this study challenge existing mathematical models based on animal movement.

"There is an understanding that a backward shift in the center of the lizard's mass, combined with a rapid burst of acceleration, causes them to walk on two legs at some point," he said.

"It's like a motorcyclist doing a wheelie.

"We found out that some lizards went bipedal faster than expected, moving their bodies back and moving their tails."

"This means that they can go longer bipedal to overcome obstacles on their way."

Application to robots
Principal author Christofer Clemente of the University of the Sunshine Coast said that these findings could have important implications for the design of robotic devices.

"We still enjoy why this species has evolved so on foot, but as we learn more, it's clear that this kind of teaching can be integrated into the robot," says Dr. Clemente.

"This movement may have something to do with improving vision in times of need, raising one's head at the same time and helping to navigate obstacles."

"In fact, bipedalism would be beneficial to the robot in a particular habitat, such as the open meadow."

"Maybe it helps a robot to build a tail to drive faster off the road."

This research not only looks to the future but also to the past. Will help explain the evolution of bipedalism in dinosaurs and how it can progress to two legs when walking on four legs.

This research was published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

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