Scientists made the spider

Scientists have studied the mechanics of the movements of the spider family of spiders Skakunov and found that for short jumps, which in nature are used for hunting, the spider used, and low energy consumption. At the same time, jumping long distances spider performed more energy efficient, according to a study published in Nature.

The jumping method of movement in which a quick stretch of the limbs. Insects and spiders jump using different mechanisms: muscle strength, spring mechanism, the hydraulic pressure. Mechanisms of the hydraulic pressure in the legs spiders have long been known, but are they used to enhance or replace muscle power while jumping, still remained unknown.

Spider Kim, became the main object of the study, referring to spider-sekuntum. Spiders from this family. Spider thread they use to build the nests to bring there offspring, as well as for insurance glued it to the surface that you want to make the leap. Research jumps conducted for understanding the mechanics of the jump and how the spider changes his strategy.

Dr. Mostafa Nabawi (Mostafa R. A. Nabawy) and his colleagues from the University of Manchester have created a volumetric model of the foot and body of the spider with microtomography with high resolution. The model was able to determine the approximate location of the center of mass and see the details of the anatomy of the feet. The exact location of the center of the mass may change, depending on the mutual arrangement of the legs and the body in space.

Morphology of a spider, Phidippus regius. (a) the Spider used to explore the characteristics of jumps. (b-h) Digital visualization of the sample obtained by x-ray microtomography: (b) front View. (C-d-e-f) the first leg. Second, third and fourth legs for walking, respectively. g) the view from the back. (h) side View

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For the experiment we developed a chamber with two horizontal platforms, moving vertically and horizontally relative to each other. For the experiment, scientists selected the largest individuals of spiders Phidippus regius, but none of them, except for females named Kim, did not jump, so all the obtained results belong to this species. The spider weighed 150 mg and was 15 millimeters in length.

The specimen was able to jump on three lengths of his body with an upward jump to four no change of altitude and five at a jump to a lower platform. To reduce the distance of the jump, the spider has started the jump from the edge of the platform, pulling the third and fourth pairs of legs. Jump was used and the third and fourth pairs of legs. The body was located at different angles for jumps of different length and height. The position was different in the moment of landing. Speed ​​when you push off from the platform varied from 0.52 to 0.97 meters per second, and the time of jump of 18.1 to 31.6 milliseconds. To overcome short distances, Kim chose a quick jump with a flat trajectory. This jump requires more energy in the hunt. For long jumping spider used the most energy-efficient trajectory, thus reducing energy consumption.

Scientists made the spider

Pictures spider Phidippus regius during pushing away and landing. Horizontal changes the distance between the platforms on the vertical elevation difference. Step (L) is equal to the body length of the spider


Also the reason for the choice of the trajectory can become the peculiarities of the vision of the spider. Spiders-Skakunov four big eyes, but these eyes are stationary, they have a narrow non-overlapping fields of view. The spider might not be able to afford to lose sight of the aim of your throw, which could easily happen if the curtain track.

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Involved spider Phidippus regius do not jump large distances, characteristic of some other arthropods, probably because this species hunts with a short quick jumps, and cause extremely long jumps, as a rule, is the emergence of the predator. It is also possible that the spider did not show all the features of their feet due to the limitation of vision or behavioral motives in the experiment, we recall, was introduced by only one individual.

Scientists came to the conclusion that it was shown the jumps Phidippus regius uses the repulsion of two pairs of feet and not just one pair, as some other spiders. Thus, the role of the hydraulic pressure in the legs of this species remains unknown.

Bionics is of great interest for a variety of robots. The authors hope that this study will help to create a flexible micro-robots that will be able to jump quickly and accurately, as spider-skakuny.

Research spiders are used in various fields of technology. Previously, a study of the colouring of the spider helped to improve the accuracy of optics, and poison to fight paralysis. Incredibly fast spider opened opportunities to improve the movement of the robot, with multiple points of support.


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