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TAKING THE LEAP

A jumping spider named Kim might help us build flying robots

By Meghan McDonough
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Researchers at the University of Manchester trained a regal jumping spider to hop varying distances and heights, with the goal of deepening scientists’ understanding of jump mechanics.

Regal jumping spiders, which are roughly the size of a human fingernail, can leap six times their body length from a standing start. (As a reference point, humans can only manage 1.5 times their height.)

The researchers found that the spider, nicknamed Kim, applied more force for short distances and modified her angle for longer leaps. As part of the study, the researchers took a 3D scan of Kim and built a tiny model based on her anatomy and body structure.

Scientists hope that this knowledge can help them build flying and jumping robots in the future.

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