High Tech: Israel develops a robot inspired by cockroaches and lizards

Ben Gurion University in Israel develops a versatile robot inspired by cockroaches and lizards

” AmphiSTAR can be used for agricultural, search and rescue and excavation applications, where both crawling and swimming are required.
Researchers at Ben Gurion University
have developed a new high-speed robot inspired by the movements of cockroaches and lizards that can swim and run over water and navigate over difficult terrain.

The AmphiSTAR robot was presented virtually by Dr David Zarrouk, Director of the Bio-inspiration and Medical Robotics Laboratory of the BGU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and graduate student Avi Cohen at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).

“The AmphiSTAR uses a sprawling mechanism inspired by cockroaches, it is designed to operate on water at high speeds like a lizard,” said Zarrouk.

AmphiSTAR is a wheeled robot with four propellers that can be tilted.
The propellers act as wheels on the ground and fins above the water. Two air tanks allow the robot to float and smoothly change from a high speed while gliding over the water to a lower speed while swimming.

The robot can crawl quickly over gravel, grass and concrete, reaching a speed of 3.6 m / s.

“Our future research will focus on the upgradeability of the robot and on underwater swimming,” said David Zarrouk.

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