MASSIMO BREGA, THE LIGHTHOUSE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MASSIMO BREGA, THE LIGHTHOUSE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cricket robot. This bio-inspired robot, designed by the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa, Italy, was based on the green leafhopper (Cicadella viridis) to find out how the insect moves. C. viridis jumps in an unusual way, which needed to be tested on a model that could be controlled. The insect is able to lock its hind legs while it accumulates energy then, when its muscles are ready, the mechanism that locks them opens up and the muscles release, producing a constant acceleration. In the robot the hind legs and the springs have been designed to reproduce this same effect.
Model release not required. Property release not required.