Everyone is probably aware of how creepy jumping spiders actually are. It’s not like they were friendlier when they were not able to jump. However, fear aside, if you think about it, it kind of incredible how they are able to jump up to six times their body length. It is indeed a biomechanical wonder. So, what else could benefit from the secrets of such an extraordinary ability? Robots, who don’t always have the luxury of a running jump. So, a team of researchers from the University of Manchester have used a combination of high-speed cameras and CT scans to examine how a spider actually jumps that high.
The spider named Kim could help robotics by borrowing some of its skills. This is why the team managed to capture its jumps both in slow-motion and created a 3D model. The purpose was to finally understand the leg and body structure of the arachnid and gather some never-before-seen details about this mechanism. It’s worth noting that the results the team obtained were not really what they had in mind.
Jumping spiders could one day help robotics
It has been scientifically proven that hydraulic pressure helps spiders stretch their legs. However, further analysis proved that the power they get from that it’s useless when it comes to jumping. Moreover, their jumping strategy according to how far the arachnids are travelling. Also, it depends on whether or not there is a change in the altitude. When it comes to a short and quick jump to catch prey, they focus more on speed. But a longer jump can conserve a lot of energy.
However, scientists still do not know everything about this topic. It’s also a problem because modern robotics surely cannot provide the same amount of control and power at the size of a spider. So, for now, these tiny robots with superpowers will have to wait a little longer.
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