Entries with tag mexican jumping beans.

Latest Biomimetic Inspiration: Mexican Jumping Beans

Robot designers have often built machines that used motions taken from nature, typically those used by an animal’s appendages like legs, wings, or fins. Now, though, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers are studying Mexican jumping beans, which are actually seed pods containing a moth larva. While it is developing in a period of six to eight months, the encased moth larva must quickly find cooler areas. As the larva chews into the pod, its motion causes the bean to jump and roll to find shade. The Georgia Tech researchers found that the pod’s motions aren’t random. They then created an algorithm describing the behavior and used it to move a wheeled robot in a controlled direction. They say their findings could help design devices such as low-powered robots for sensing or surveillance. Learning more about rolling motions found in nature can help researchers apply that information to wheeled robots to make them more adaptable and autonomous as they traverse various terrain. The scientists published their work in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. (PhysOrg)(Bioinspiration & Biomimetics)

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