DASH - Cardboard Cockroach Bot

Posted 28 Dec 2009 at 18:32 UTC (updated 28 Dec 2009 at 18:35 UTC) by The Swirling Brain Share This

SF Gate has an article about DASH the 10cm (~4 inches) Cockroach Robot. Yes, amazingly it even has it's own acronym: DASH stands for Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexpod. It also has plenty of the usual fantastic buzz terms such as "helps explain evolution" and "just like nature" that I find a little bit of a stretch. At first glance the little hexapod looks like cardboard toy that a 10 year old could make by hacking up a breakfast cereal box. Actually made by engineers at UC Berkeley, it can survive a drop off a four story building and leap over objects twice it's height in a single scurrying bound. The robot is made out of about $50 of materials which include thin cardboard, watch batteries and electronic parts that could be picked up at Radio Shack. The cardboard is actually a sandwich of cardboard and polymer for strength and flexibility and after being laser cut can be assembled fairly quickly (especially if you speed up the video). Once you get a good look at the design it does seem rather well engineered. For now it seems the little bot runs via RC control so it's not technically an autonomous robot yet. Although this model doesn't seem to do much more than falling off buildings and scurrying across the floor, from the research they are doing, they seem to have high hopes for the descendants of these little cockroach robots. Anything that can scare mom up onto the table is pretty cool in my book!

Details on the fabrication process, posted 29 Dec 2009 at 17:00 UTC by steve » (Master)

Travis Deyle writes, "I thought you might be interested in a close-up view of the fabrication process that I did over on Hizook a while back."

Thanks Travis!

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