But learning how they use all six legs at the same time to walk, run and turn has been a difficult and time-consuming task. Until now.
Using a pair of high-speed cameras and a custom computer program, researchers at Case Western Reserve University are able to simultaneously extract three-dimensional movement of a cockroach's 26 leg joints. They report their findings in the online journal PLoS ONE.
"Each leg does something a little different but in concert," said John Bender, a postdoctoral research associate in the department of biology and lead author of the study. A cockroach doesn't inch ahead on the push of one leg. So, to understand just one step requires a synchronous picture of what each joint in each leg is doing as the insect propels forward.
The new technology allowed Bender and his collaborators to provide the first detailed analysis of how the cockroach uses the tiny trampoline-like trochanter-femur joint that lies between the stubby coxa and long femur.
The analysis showed the joint reduces bouncing as the body's weight shifts forward, and then rolls to lift the tibia off the ground as the leg begins its forward swing.
Bender, biology professor Roy Ritzmann and undergraduate researcher Elaine Simpson, who has since graduated, used synchronized digital high-speed cameras to produce 3-D images of the leg joints of a moving cockroach. The cameras shoot 500 frames per second for 8 seconds.
Bender led development of software that enabled them to analyze in hours 106,496 individual 3-D points, with about 90 percent accuracy. He estimated that the old method of analyzing the 3-D movement of all 26 joints frame-by-frame would take at least a couple of weeks. By automating much of the work, the team sought also to eliminate some of the subjectivity of analyzing each frame by human eye.
The researchers say the software can benefit others who seek to analyze movement of other insects and have made the software free and open-source for other investigators to use and add enhancements. Bender and Ritzman are using the software now to study changes in coordination that occur during changes in walking speed and turning.
Kevin Mayhood | EurekAlert!
Satellite data for agriculture
28.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Magnetic Quantum Objects in a "Nano Egg-Box"
25.07.2017 | Universität Wien
Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.
A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.07.2017 | Life Sciences