2 min read

Cats Teach Robots How To Land On Their Feet With Grace

<p><a class="checked-link" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/luananh/14849657495/sizes/l/" style="text-decoration: none;">Luan Anh/Flickr/CC BY 2.0</a></p>

When Georgia Tech robotics experts wanted to design robots that could survive a fall, they looked to the internet's favorite animal, who happens to be one of nature's most graceful acrobats: the cat.

(Georgia Tech/YouTube)

By looking at the way cats orient themselves in midair, the scientists built a robot that can achieve a similar twist.

(National Geographic/YouTube)

"It's not the fall that kills you. It's the sudden stop at the end," said Karen Liu, an expert in interactive computing at Georgia Tech, in a statement. "One of the most important factors that determines the damage of the fall is the landing angle."

The robot falls down an incline (from left to right) and makes a successful impact. (Georgia Tech/YouTube)

Liu shows how cats, and human athletes, influenced her robot in this video:

(Georgia Tech/YouTube)

Cats aren't only teaching robots how to stick the landing - Massachusetts Institute of Technology's cheetah-inspired bot can hit speeds of 10 mph (not bad for a 70-pound feline machine).