Cockroaches employ ninja-like moves to escape their predators and light, say researchers.
Using high-speed photography to find how cockroaches make their escape, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that the insects are able to flip upside-down on two legs.
The roaches are able to run off a ledge at full speed, grip the edge of the plank with their claws, flip themselves over and run down the back edge.
The ability ensures they are able to escape predators who are unable to pull off the complicated move, reported the Los Angeles Times.
The finding has inspired the creation of small robots, "microbots," that have the same skill.
The six-footed robot called DASH (Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod), which will help better understand animal locomotion.
The roaches' movement will also help build more dynamic robots in the future able to transition from one movement to another seemlessly.
“Today, some robots are good at running, some at climbing, but very few are good at both or transitioning from one behavior to the other,” said Robert Full, a UC Berkeley professor of biomechanics and study co-author, reported UC Berkeley News Center.
“That’s really the challenge now in robotics, to produce robots that can transition on complex surfaces and get into dangerous areas that first responders can’t get into.”
The Economist reported that professor Full and his team have previously identified similar skills in other animals such as geckos.
“This behavior is probably pretty widespread, because it is an effective way to quickly move out of sight for small animals,” Full said, reported Red Orbit.
The study was published in the journal PLoS One.