Can "Squirrelly" Skills Be Built Into Robots?

8/17/2021; 2 minutes

Just another YouTube video documenting the crazy antics of squirrels hell-bent on reaching peanuts? No, these videos are part of a study to understand the split-second decisions squirrels make routinely as they race through the tree canopy, jumping from branch to branch, using skills honed to elude deadly predators. How do they decide whether or not to take a leap? How do they assess their biomechanical abilities to know whether they can stick the landing? Understanding how squirrels learn the limits of their agility could lead to robots with better control to nimbly move through varied landscapes, such as the rubble of a collapsed building in search of survivors. It could also lead to a better understanding of movement problems that come with age. (#37367)

Like what you learn?

Donate to UCTV to support informative & inspiring programming.

Subscribe to receive email notifications about featured videos.
(c)2020 Regents of the University of California. All right reserved. Terms and Conditions of Use.