Geckos glide, crash-land, but don’t fall thanks to tail

Soft perching robot validates the benefit of having a fifth leg

A scientific study published in Nature Communications Biology by researchers who work at the intersection between robotics and biology shows that geckos are capable of gliding. In the publication titled Tails stabilize landing of gliding geckos crashing head-first into tree trunks, the authors present footage showing that geckos with no major specializations for flight are in fact capable gliders. Experiments with a gecko-inspired robot confirm the reptile’s locomotion abilities are not entirely down to its feet. The tail plays just as much a pivotal role, the team from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Siena College in New York, and the University of California at Berkeley discovered.

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Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

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