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This bionic spider can curl up and do somersaults

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German automation company Festo has a history of making kooky robotic versions of wildlife. It has previously constructed a kangaroo, an elephant trunk, and ants, and now, it has come up with a walking, rolling robot spider as well as a robotic flying fox, as spotted by IEEE Spectrum.

If the idea of a rolling spider seems terrible, let me cement your fears and assure you this robot is based on the very real flic-flac spider, which lives in the Sahara and escapes predators with cartwheels and flips. Bionics professor Ingo Rechenberg, who discovered the flic-flac spider, was involved in helping to design Festo’s version. It has eight legs which are controlled by 15 motors within the knee joints and body. When it rolls, it does a somersault…

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