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Robots May Need Lizard-Like Tails for 'Off-Road' Travel


The Australian Gippsland Water Dragon lizard running on two legs.

The motion of lizards could improve designs for robots, according to a new study.

Credit: David Paul.

A multi-institution project including the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia found that the motion of lizards could improve designs for robots.

UQ's Nicholas Wu said, "What we found...is that some lizards run bipedally sooner than expected, by moving their body back and winging their tail up. This means that they could run bipedally for longer, perhaps to overcome obstacles in their path."

The University of the Sunshine Coast's Christofer Clemente said the findings may have ramifications for designing bio-inspired robots. Clemente said, "If obstacle negotiation is indeed improved with bipedal locomotion, then we have shown how the tail and body can be moved to enable it sooner and for longer. Maybe adding a tail to robots can help them go 'off-road' sooner."

From UQ News
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