The robot is able to both walk and somersault around. Image Credit: Festo
A company in Germany has developed an impressive spider-like robot that has a unique way of getting around.
Developed by German multinational industrial control and automation company Festo, the aptly-named 'BionicWheelBot' is based on the movements of the flic-flac spider - an unusual desert species that is able to propel itself along through a combination of somersaulting and rolling on the ground.
The robot is the brainchild of Professor Ingo Rechenberg who encountered the spider in the Sahara in 2008 and was so intrigued by its unique form of locomotion that he integrated it into the robot's design.
"Since its discovery, Professor Rechenberg has been working on transferring its movement patterns to the technical field," the company wrote. "The studies into the spider's behavior led to the design of various robots that can propel themselves on difficult terrain."
The robot itself works by only using six of its eight legs to walk while the other two remain folded up. To roll, it can then fold up its main legs in to a wheel shape and use the other two to propel itself along.
A video demonstrating the device in action can be viewed below.