BirdBot is energy-efficient thanks to nature as a model

BirdBot in water. Credit: Dynamic Locomotion Group at MPI-IS

If a Tyrannosaurus Rex living 66 million years ago featured a similar leg structure as an ostrich running in the savanna today, then we can assume bird legs stood the test of time—a good example of evolutionary selection.

Graceful, elegant, powerful—flightless birds like the ostrich are a mechanical wonder. Ostriches, some of which weigh over 100kg, run through the savanna at up to 55km/h. The ostriches’ outstanding locomotor performance is thought to be enabled by the animal’s leg structure. Unlike humans, birds fold their feet back when pulling their …

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