The American cockroach is one of the fastest insects in the world (and the nastiest). People here spend a lot of money to keep those bugs out of their homes. Here in the south where I live, they can even fly. Our cockroaches are able to maintain their claim to fame when it comes to speed because they can run 50 body-lengths in one second. No wonder they are almost impossible to catch. The cockroach I’m sharing with you today is a little nicer. It can even save lives.
This cockroach robot is also a speedy little sucker, and he can fly across the floor at 27 body-lengths in one second. That’s not to shabby! The best thing about this cockroach robot is that he can be bred, or built, to save lives. This little guy is only 4-inches long, and he is called the VelociRoACH. He was conceived, designed and brought to life by the people in the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab at UC Berkeley. They studied the world famous American cockroach, and then they designed this cockroach robot to be just like it. The secret to this roach robot’s speed are his thin, C-shaped legs which act as springs when they hit the ground. They even used recyclable cardboard and plastic to make him.
The lab at Berkeley not only created this roach, but they also created several other insects too. Each one contains Smart Composite Microstructures. In a nutshell, they are all specifically designed to save lives. If there is a disaster of any kind, a whole bunch of these could be created very fast and very inexpensively. Then the little cardboard cockroach robots could enter buildings or homes to search for people who might be hurt inside. They would be able to fit into places where it might be hard for rescue personnel to reach. They could deliver information and data back to the source. Wow, these little cockroaches really could save lives. When you watch this video, you’ll see that they are kinda cute too.