Robot from Johns Hopkins University uses randomized wing opening and leg swinging to self‑right when fallen.


  • Self‑righting
  • Stable


  • Robotics
  • Surveillance
  • Autonomous vehicles

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

The Challenge

Robots are designed to navigate on their own, but when encountering rough terrain, they may lose balance and fall over. When this occurs it may be difficult to recover because the robot doesn’t have arms or other limbs to assist it in standing back up.

Innovation Details

The robot is programmed to use random wing-opening and leg-swinging motions to self-right, similar to cockroaches. Increasing the randomness of the time delay between wing opening and leg swinging increased the likelihood that the robot (which did not know what coordination was best) would self-right within a finite time.

Biomimicry Story

Cockroaches use random motions of their wings and legs to help turn themselves over if they are upside-down. With the help of friction on the ground, wing pulses and leg movements, cockroaches can push themselves off their backs and self-right.