A three-legged dog is a pretty sad sight. But researcher Martin Gross of the University of Jena in Germany thinks he can learn something about locomotion from them, which could be useful for robots.
He noticed that his brother’s three-legged dog, despite missing a hind limb due to cancer, was still faster than three other family dogs who had all four legs.
The same cannot be said of robots. If they lose a limb, they’re likely to topple over, since they cannot readjust to the new way of walking. The entire robot could be rendered useless.