Arthropod Locomotion: Engineering


Robert Full is interested in the biomechanics of arthropod movement. Arthropods move low to the ground using their legs in a tripod fashion, which is inherently stable. Their skeleton provides local control over movement. But the secret to their success is their jointed legs, which act as struts and shock absorbers.

Students see two different robots in action, each using jointed legs patterned after arthropods.

Next Generation Science Standards for this Video

The arthropod’s exoskeleton defines the way it moves through the environment. Arthropods are the optimal mechanical design for life on earth.

The biomechanics of arthropod movement is analyzed using robots.

A scientist who studies biomechanics uses engineering and computer skills as well as a knowledge of the animal in its environment.

Scientist in this video

Really, I'm interested in [arthropods'] movements so you can discover the secrets of how their muscles and their skeletons work to allow them to move so wonderfully in the environment. -- Robert Full