back to article Boffins glue self-righting ROBO-VELOCIRAPTOR tail to car

Biologists at the University of California in Berkeley have stuck an intelligent robotic tail on a toy car in an attempt to make clumsy droids of the future more stable. Slow-motion videos of jumping lizards had the team of engineers and biologists scrambling to their drawing boards to come up with the manmade rump-connected …

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Balance aid

This could be useful in helping those who are staggering home after one too many drinks.

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Pint

won't work

But two of them would allow you to walk a straight line home, no matter how rubber your knees were.

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FAIL

But will it help me stay stable in the face of morphing ads?

Aaaaaargh!

Now we have ads that change size and physically scroll THE TEXT I'M CURRENTLY READING off the screen.. what idiot thought of that one?

Sort it out, Reg!

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IT Angle

Not seen anything like that here....

get your system scanned.

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I for one ...

Welcome our new righteous robotic lizard overlords.

Seriously though...

Would it have application for motorbikes and Reliant Robin cars?

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Dunno about Motorbikes. However, I suspect that if you drove a plastic pig off a metre drop, the end result would be a rolling chassis covered in a heap of shattered fiberglass pieces regardless of which way up it landed.

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"rolling chassis covered in a heap of shattered fiberglass "

This needs video footage.

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Send the idea to

Top Gear

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Pirate

Motorcyclists and Dirt Jumpers use the rotation of the from wheel to control the nose of the bike. If you hit the front brake at the apex of the jump it drops the nose so you can hit the rollout with both wheels.

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Coat

What an interesting tail you tell.

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Alert

What's the worst that could happen?

So they are combining robot design and highly efficeint reptilian killers.

Do these people not go to the cinema?

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Go

Combine it with the synthetic gecko-foot and you'd have one nimble robot lizard that could leap from place to place, sticking wherever it lands! I approve the direction of this lizard-related research heartily!

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Terminator

Add all that to the robo-ostrich and you have wall-climbing robo-raptors.

We're doomed.

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Go

Add a few spikes to that tail

like on a stegosaurus, and the problem of others tailgating your vehicle will be a thing of the past.

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Pint

Why not go for the Ankylosaurus wrecking ball. Just for the extra oomph!

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Coat

This is science, why not both!!

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Facepalm

I suppose

Sudying kangaroos rather than sticking the essentially fictional velociraptor* label on it would have gathered rather fewer column inches...

*essentially fictional because no-one really knows tha much about how the soft flesy bits and matching nerves were arranged.

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Blue sky

So you can use appendages to keep or regain balance? Come on! If you have ever walked on ice, seen a linedancer or a cat it should be rather obvious. In 1894 Étienne Jules Marey researched this on cats, and I do not think he was the first. (Technically it was how cats are able to turn in the air without external influence.) Oh, but I see, it is linked to search and rescue. Sigh, the default link for any new piece of tech that you have no specific need for, but think might be useful down the line. And this has to be the weakest link I have seen by far. Weaker than the link between putting cameras on phones to aid first responders by taking pictures of accidents and sending it to them.

I can't wait for their research into the colour of the sky on a blue sky day and how that can be vital knowledge for search and rescue people when they need to distinguish Na'vis from the sky. When I think about it that needs a "learning from nature, because nature is the bestest on everything and we humans are stupid"-angle. Maybe something about how some obscure insects use this to figure out the difference between the forest they live in and the sky.

Man up people. You did this because you wanted to make big robots because basically that is what we* all want to do, and you couldn't be bothered by solving this on your own and doing the math so you cheated by looking on how somebody else had done it, in this case nature.

*geeks

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FAIL

Of course it's obvious that you can flail an appendage to regain balance. Which is why it was looked into hundreds of years ago, as you mentioned. The difference here is that the boffins have come up with a working prototype that has the potential to improve the capabilities of useful remote vehicles.

As for them not being bothered about solving the problem or doing the math, do you have the faintest idea how complicated it is to understand an instinctive action like correcting a fall in terms (Mathematical/logical) that you can then 'teach' to a robot?

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No, it appears he does'nt have the faintest idea. But hey ho, this is the internet. There's a lot of it about.

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Tails

I find I can jump off much higher platforms naked.

work it out....

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Jumping off is not the problem

It's the landing that is the issue.

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Devil

Dropping cats

Just get me some R&D money and I'll do the study.

My dog volunteers to assist.

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why not do it the way RC drivers already do?

we're already adjusting the balance of small RC cars in midair by using torque on the rear wheels. Hit the electronic brake to nose down, cram the throttle to nose up. Works really well on those self balancing RC motorcycles with gyroscopes in the rear wheel.

That being said, a properly designed tail can also help compensate for roll, so a tail unit can help in both pitch and roll axes. As well as help physically right a vehicle that borks the landing.

Of course if they can manage both strong and flexible in a tail appendage, they should be able to do it for limbs and eliminate the need for wheels or tracks completely.

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Did Orphan Annie, or more likely Daddy Warbucks have anything to do with this research?

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FAIL

Damn resizing ads

keep moving the stuff I'm trying to read while I am reading it.

time to find a new tech news site that doesnt actively try to annoy its readers

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Search Bot?

"Leaping lizards inspire super stable search bots"

How did the word "search" make it in to the headline? Because it's a 'bot, it must be a web-bot? It's a physical robot, and not a computer application. The Internet is rapacious enough without a bunch of Jurrasic-age velociraptors mining my data.

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Devil

Shit the future is here these things gonna be killin us real soon...

wingZero

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dsf

I thought this was going to say "BOFFINS GLUE SELF-RIGHTING ROBO-VELOCIRAPTOR TAIL TO CAT."

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re:

Be careful what you wish for. We're one* step away from tooled-up dino-enhanced cyborg-cat overlords.

C.

(* maybe more than one, then)

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I hereby nominate

"in lizards, robots and dinosaurs" for the Best Latter Half of a Scientific Paper Title Award.

In fact, there really ought to be a journal for this - something like Transactions of the Society for Studying Stuff Common to Lizards, Robots, and Dinosaurs. That'd get the kids interested in science.

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Gundam's AMBAC?

Using robot limbs to adjust attitude in a free-fall environment? I'm surprised this research isn't being done by Bandai...

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