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Robotic Cockroach Could Someday Assist Earthquake Rescuers


Researchers at UC Berkeley have created another mechanical creature: the robotic cockroach. While it may be unpleasant to find one of these squirmy pests in your house, the cockroach is a natural marvel due to its incredible speed and resilience.

ROACH, or Robotic Autonomous Crawling Hexapod, mimics the cockroach’s ability to traverse difficult terrain swiftly, scamper into tiny spaces, and survive long falls. These qualities could be particularly useful for finding survivors among the wreckage of an earthquake. In addition, ROACH costs less than $1 to make and can be manufactured in under an hour!

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6 Responses to “Robotic Cockroach Could Someday Assist Earthquake Rescuers”

  1. The robot ROACH article was great! The Community College where I teach (Central Florida Community College) is planning two of our first Robotics Camp this summer for middle school age children. After the week long camp is over we would like to leave the kids with a Robot gift to take with them, but most are too expensive for us to purchase 40 of. Are the ROACHs available for purchase somewhere or are they only in the protype phase? Even if we had to assemble them, they look like somethine the kids would get a kick out of. I’m guess not, but I have to ask. Let me know if you have a contact person. Thank you.

  2. Hello and thanks for your nice comment! Unfortunately we don’t know much about the commercial availability of ROACH, but you can find the names and email addresses of its creators here:

  3. […] recover from natural disasters, engineers are at a distinct advantage. Not only can they build survivor-seeking robots and provide food and clean water for those affected, but they also have the ability to analyze the […]

  4. […] Have students find and examine reports of recent earthquakes, such as our eGFI story on the 2010 Haiti disaster. Have them discuss what important structural failings were involved. How have engineers gotten involved to assess damages and address the problems? Students could also seek out information on engineering innovations designed to strengthen buildings or aid in disasters. […]

  5. […] the robotic cockroach we featured last year, devices such as these have great potential to save lives after disaster […]

  6. Delicious…

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