With the advent of significant collaborations between researchers who study insect walking and robotics engineers interested in constructing adaptive legged robots, insect walking is once again poised to make a more significant scientific contribution than the numbers of participants in the field might suggest. This review outlines current knowledge of the physiological basis of insect walking with an emphasis on recent new developments in biomechanics and genetic dissection of behavior, and the impact this knowledge is having on robotics. Engineers have begun to team with neurobiologists to build walking robots whose physical design and functional control are based on insect biology. Such an approach may have benefits for engineering, by leading to the construction of better-performing robots, and for biology, by allowing real-time and real-world tests of critical hypotheses about how locomotor control is effected. It is argued that in order for the new field of biorobotics to have significant influence it must adopt criteria for performance and an experimental approach to the development of walking robots.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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