XBugs

xbugReceived one of these as a gift fom a graduating tutee, and thought it was so cool it was worth a blog!  These bugs come as a flat disc of aluminium, you twist out the pieces, fold and arrange them and then hold it all in place witha single nut and bolt (allen key provided!). As a bonus it comes with some mini bugs too. It’s a bit fiddly, and a little patience is required (not something I have in abundance) but the final product is pretty neat. You can find them on Amazon, or from the manufacturers website touchofginger.com, although I’ll warn you, they do lots of other cool  stuff too (including other bugs) and you’ll spend ages looking through the pages.

Of course, give my professional interest in insect locomotion I couldn’t resist the temptation when folding the mini bugs to have a bit of fun, so have done some demonstrations of stability in hexapods as they walk with different gaits (patterns of leg movement). From left to right, standing (all legs on the ground), moving one leg at a time (at least five legs on the ground at any one time), a faster metachronal gait (at least four legs on the ground at any one time) and finally the fastest insect gait, the Tripod with alternating three legs in a triangular configuration.

 

mini-stand-100 mini-olaat-100 mini-metachronal-100 mini-tripod-100

 

See my insect locomotion page for more detail.

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Dave

Mathematician at the University of Warwick in the UK with research interests in equivariant bifurcation theory and applications, especially in modelling of insect locomotion. Teaching interests include online learning and innovative teaching methods. Also occasionally creates material for the University's "International Gateway for Gifted Youth". He has been active on the Internet since 1995, initially though his UFO and Michael Schenker website, but now through a multitude of projects.

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