Certain caterpillars and lizards have an amazing escape strategy – when startled, they’ll suddenly snap into action, curling into a wheel shape and rolling at proportionally breakneak speeds away from danger. 1G of acceleration, and over 200RPM. Zoom! This unusual movement method (specifically the non-gravity-assisted version) is the one that the above video (of the GoQBot) is designed to imitate.
So once again, science imitates nature, and discovers more amazing secrets – and yet some aspects are still a mystery. How does a mere caterpillar generate as much force as a leaping locust with its soft, flabby body? Yet to be discovered. But GoQBot, by Huai-Ti Lin, Gary G Leisk and Barry Trimmer, is already incredibly impressive.