The hopping mechanism of earthen fleas will help robots move more efficiently

Earthen fleas are herbivores that belong to the hyperdiversal group of approximately 9,900 species and

found in various environments around the world: from low-lying rainforests to alpine meadows and deserts. Most of them live, feed and breed on the upper surface of the leaves of the host plants, which makes them especially vulnerable to predators, including birds, ants and spiders. One of their defense mechanisms is their incredible jumping skills that allow bugs to escape from an approaching predator in an instant.

Although the mechanism by which fleasas if catapulting themselves, overcoming significant distances for its size, was discovered back in 1929, it has not yet been sufficiently studied.

Researchers in their work used microcomputer tomography and high-speed imaging for images of flea movements, and then created a 3D model of the insect during the jump from the obtained images.

This made it possible to establish the exact mechanics of the jump anddetermine the role of the structure in the legs of the insect, which scientists call the "elastic plate". The system responsible for jumping is located in the hind legs of the beetle and is relatively simple. It contains only three sclerotized parts and several muscles that allow it to achieve acceleration when jumping in 8,650 square meters. m / s, which is 865 times greater than the acceleration of gravity.

Ejection Jumping Ejection Mechanismthe flea is so effective and simple that it can find application in robotics, as well as in engineering and industrial installations, the researchers note. In their work, they propose the design of a bionic limb inspired by beetles.

Previously scientists have created a robot capable of stitching vessels up to 0.3 mm in diameter. The first tests of a device for supermicrosurgery in humans were successful.