Robert J. Full

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Locomotion results from complex, high-dimensional, non-linear, dynamically coupled interactions between an organism and its environment. Fortunately, simple models we call templates have been and can be made to resolve the redundancy of multiple legs, joints and muscles by seeking synergies and symmetries. A template is the simplest model (least number of(More)
Geckos are exceptional in their ability to climb rapidly up smooth vertical surfaces. Microscopy has shown that a gecko's foot has nearly five hundred thousand keratinous hairs or setae. Each 30-130 microm long seta is only one-tenth the diameter of a human hair and contains hundreds of projections terminating in 0.2-0.5 microm spatula-shaped structures.(More)
Many-legged animals, such as crabs and cockroaches, utilize whole-body mechanics similar to that observed for running bipeds and trotting quadrupedal mammals. Despite the diversity in morphology, two legs in a quadrupedal mammal, three legs in an insect and four legs in a crab can function in the same way as one leg of a biped during ground contact. To(More)
Six-legged pedestrians, cockroaches, use a running gait during locomotion. The gait was defined by measuring ground reaction forces and mechanical energy fluctuations of the center of mass in Blaberus discoidalis (Serville) as they travelled over a miniature force platform. These six-legged animals produce horizontal and vertical ground-reaction patterns of(More)
To examine the effects of variation in body form on the mechanics of terrestrial locomotion, we used a miniature force platform to measure the ground reaction forces of the smallest and, relative to its mass, one of the fastest invertebrates ever studied, the American cockroach Periplaneta americana (mass = 0.83 g). From 0.44-1.0 ms-1, P. americana used an(More)
Cheetahs and beetles run, dolphins and salmon swim, and bees and birds fly with grace and economy surpassing our technology. Evolution has shaped the breathtaking abilities of animals, leaving us the challenge of reconstructing their targets of control and mechanisms of dexterity. In this review we explore a corner of this fascinating world. We describe(More)
Stability is fundamental to the performance of terrestrial locomotion. Running cockroaches met the criteria for static stability over a wide range of speeds, yet several locomotor variables changed in a way that revealed an increase in the importance of dynamic stability as speed increased. Duty factors (the fraction of time that a leg spends on the ground(More)
Recent advances in integrative studies of locomotion have revealed several general principles. Energy storage and exchange mechanisms discovered in walking and running bipeds apply to multilegged locomotion and even to flying and swimming. Nonpropulsive lateral forces can be sizable, but they may benefit stability, maneuverability, or other criteria that(More)
RHex is an untethered, compliant leg hexapod robot that travels at better than one body length per second over terrain few other robots can negotiate at all. Inspired by biomechanics insights into arthropod locomotion, RHex uses a clock excited alternating tripod gait to walk and run in a highly maneuverable and robust manner. We present empirical data(More)
Despite impressive variation in leg number, length, position and type of skeleton, similarities of legged, pedestrian locomotion exist in energetics, gait, stride frequency and ground-reaction force. Analysis of data available in the literature showed that a bouncing, spring-mass, monopode model can approximate the energetics and dynamics of trotting,(More)