Big bang cockroach legs have built-in stabilisers, according to a report in Science, 6 Sep 2002. Cockroaches are able to run so rapidly over highly irregular terrain without losing their balance that they cannot be dependent on signals from their brains to keep them stable. Biologist Robert Full, along with Princeton University mathematicians, carried out experiments that show cockroach stability comes from the design of its muscles and exoskeleton. To test the theory Full attached tiny explosive backpacks to cockroaches. While the cockroaches were running Full triggered the explosions, which should have blown them sideways but the cockroaches didn’t even break stride. Robert Full is using results of these experiments to help develop a robot that can move over rough terrain, something wheeled robots are not good at.
Editorial Comment: This is one of numerous biomechanical studies where scientists are studying living things with the aim of copying some structure or function for a human engineered machine. Such studies are an admission that living creatures were designed by a much smarter engineer than any present human engineer. It’s time to give God the glory to His name. (Ref. cockroaches, design, biomechanics)