Pop! Observing and Modeling the Legless Self-righting Jumping Mechanism of Click Beetles

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10384)


Click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae) have evolved a jumping mechanism to right themselves when on their dorsal side, without using their legs or any other appendages. This paper describes and analyzes the stages of the click beetle jump using high-speed video recordings and scanning electron micrographs of four beetle species, namely Alaus oculatus, Ampedus nigricollis, Ampedus linteus and Melanotus spp. The body of the click beetle is considered as two masses linked by a hinge. Dynamic and kinematic models of the jump stages are developed. The models were used to calculate the hinge stiffness and the elastic energy stored in the body during the jump. The modeling results show agreement with the experimental values. The derived models provide a framework that will be used for the design of a click beetle inspired self-righting robot.


Legless jumping Self-righting robot Click beetle inspired robot 



This research was supported by the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering and the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Ophelia Bolmin was fully supported by Fulbright and the Monahan Fundation and the Aerospace Engineering department at the UIUC and ENSTA Bretagne. We thank Joshua Gibson and Andy Suarez from the Suarez Laboratory (UIUC) for their experimental resources and expertise. We also appreciate Prof. Shelby Hutchens (UIUC) for allowing the use of the ESEM.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Science and EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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