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Speedy cockroaches help researchers train robots to walk

Speedy cockroaches help researchers train robots to walk

Science
Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Scientists have identified a shift in the gaits of speedy cockroaches as the insects kick it into high gear. The discovery could help engineers train robots to walk more stably and efficiently.The latest research -- published this week in the journal Frontiers in Zoology -- shows a mid-speed change in the biomechanics of a cockroach's gait characterizes its acceleration from scurry to sprint. The shift recalls those made by other animals, including horses, which famously transition from a trot to a gallop."I was particularly surprised that a change in mechanisms stabilizing the animal's movement goes hand in hand with a change in leg coordination," Tom Weihmann, a zoologist at the University of Cologne in Germany, said in a news release.When crawling at a slow pace, a cockr...
Middle-aged told to walk faster

Middle-aged told to walk faster

Health
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceMiddle-aged people are being urged to walk faster to help stay healthy, amid concern high levels of inactivity may be harming their health. Officials at Public Health England said the amount of activity people did started to tail off from the age of 40.They are urging those between the ages of 40 and 60 to start doing regular brisk walks.Just 10 minutes a day could have a major impact, reducing the risk of early death by 15%, they say.But PHE estimates four out of every 10 40- to 60-year-olds do not even manage a brisk 10-minute walk each month.15% Reduction in risk of early death from at least one brisk 10 min walk per day 20% Less active than we were in the 1960s 15 miles Less walked a year on average than two decades ago BBCTo help, the govern...
NASA TV to broadcast six-hour space walk outside ISS

NASA TV to broadcast six-hour space walk outside ISS

Science
Aug. 11 (UPI) -- NASA's own TV channel is scheduled to broadcast a six-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The walk will take place on August 17, and coverage will begin at 10 a.m. EDT.The spacewalk will be carried out by a pair Russian cosmonauts, Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy. While outside the space station, the duo will manually launch five nanosatellites, each with a different purpose -- not all of them scientific.One of the miniature satellites is encased in paneling created by 3D printers. The cubed satellite will help researchers test the effects of low-Earth orbit on 3D printed materials.Another mini satellite is being launched in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Sputnik 1 launch, the world's first a...