Plastic shell lets roach-bot squeeze through gaps

Shape helps six-legged robot shimmy past obstacles

cockroach-inspired robot

TIGHT FIT  A cockroach-inspired robot can get stuck as it moves through narrow gaps in an obstacle course of stiff paper strips (bottom). But adding an arched shell to the machine (top, right) lets it turn sideways (bottom, right), helping it scuttle through cracks.

Chen Li, courtesy of PolyPEDAL Lab, Biomimetic Millisystems Lab and CiBER/UC Berkeley

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