Roll, robot, roll

Caterpillars inspire researchers to build a robot that rolls to safety

By Stephen Ornes, 17:28 PM May 18, 2011

The GoQBot quickly curls up and rolls away, imitating real caterpillars.

There’s no such thing as a natural robot. Robots aren’t alive, they don’t grow, and they need people and technology to get around. But engineers, the human inventors of these machines, don’t ignore nature. In fact, these researchers are often inspired by natural events. Many clever gadgets and devices imitate the workings of nature.

The inventors of a new robot called GoQBot drew inspiration from caterpillars. To escape predators or other dangerous situations, some caterpillars curl into ...

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