Tailbot – A robotic car with tail

The researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have observed that the lizards are using their tails to control their body position when they jump through the air. This study has helped them to create a small tailed robotic car called as Tailbot, which could be highly useful for search and rescue operations.

The biologists and engineering students of UC Berkeley started this research by making the red-headed African Agama lizards to run on a short path. They also tested it to leap from a finely gripped surface and slippery surface. While seeing both these jumps in a slow motion video, they discovered that the lizards are adjusting its tails at various angles to control its body position in the mid-air. This kind of leap has certainly helped the lizards to avoid the forward pitch.

According to this method, the researchers developed a mathematical model for determining the better controlled jump. This sequentially led to the creation of a small robotic car with a motor-controlled tail, which was named as Tailbot. This car is also incorporated with a gyroscopic sensor.

The researchers first made a tailbot to jump through a small slope by keeping its sensor inactive. It suddenly ended up with several nose dives on the floor. When the sensor was turned to active mode, the tailbot was capable of landing its wheels down. The result was 100% perfect because the sensor sensed the body position of the car in the mid-air, and used the mathematical model to adjust its tail angle.

The video given below shows you how a robotic car and lizard adjust its tails at various angles.

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