UC SPARK - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

(BIOMECHANICS) Biomechanics of jumping spiders: Launch, trajectory and landing mechanics

Status:  Proposed

Māori Relevant Content:  No

Project Abstract

PROBLEM- Jumping spiders are able to jump significant distances and land precisely on their prey. However the biomechanics of this process are poorly understood. Some of the launch biomechanics have been determined, but only partially, while the biomechanics of the flight and landing processes are obscure.
BACKGROUND – These spiders are characterised by having excellent aim, being able to land precisely on their prey from distances of centimetres. They have excellent visual acuity, and are able to judge distances precisely. Whether or not they are able to make in-flight adjustments to their trajectory is uncertain. The flight time would seem too short for such adjustment, yet  empirical evidence shows they are able to land precisely on a moving target which implies a degree of active control.
NEED - There is a need to better understand the kinetics and kinematics of spider jumping activities, throughout the launch-flight-land sequence.
PURPOSE – The purpose of this research is to better understand the biomechanics of the launch-flight-land processes as an integrated sequence of kinetics and kinematics. The situation under examination is jumping spiders.
VALUE – This is worth researching for the potential to better understand what these spiders are doing, and how they control their jump to such accuracy. The principles may also be applicable to the development of engineering robots, especially those that engage with a fluid.

Researchers - UC Staff

Subject Area: Disciplines