Scientists trained the tiny arachnids they called Kim to jump on demand to discover the science of how spiders leap for prey. In their study, scientists discovered that Kim is able to skip six times her body length from a single standing start.
Unlike spiders, humans are unable to skip such heights. We can only jump about 1.5 body lengths. In studying these jumps in Arachnids, scientists at Manchester University could develop a new set of flexible robots that have the properties of animals in nature, understanding how spiders jump for prey, according to a BBC News report especially the jumping spidipus regius spider, which is capable of jumping to precisely prey prey. These spiders use this method to hunt insects and small invertebrates. These spiders do not make cobwebs, but use different methods of hunting. They have four large eyes on the front and four smaller eyes on the head.
The team filmed spiders jumping with high-quality cameras. In addition, they used 3D CT scans to create a model that showed the spider's legs as well as their body structure. The results showed that they sometimes changed strategies by using faster hunting methods and a lower trajectory, making them faster and more accurate and sometimes using more energy efficient jumps.
"It's jumping at the optimal angle, which means you can understand the challenge it's facing," Dr. Mostafa Nabawy, a researcher working on an article published in Scientific Reports, told BBC News. "And then she can measure her jumping performance at the start to make a jump that is optimal in terms of energy demand."
Scientists used female spiders to investigate how spiders jump on prey animals and they intercept a pet shop in Manchester. However, only Kim cooperated with the team to make the desired jumps. The team analyzed the data from the videos to understand what forces were needed for the jump and how they were made.
"The power to lift when lifting can be up to five times the spider's weight – that's amazing, and if we can understand that biomechanics, we can apply it to other research areas," Dr. Nabawy, an aeronautical engineer interested in developing new types of aeronautical and jumping robots.
"Spiders must plan everything, they must perform precise jumps and precise jumps to reach their target [prey] as fast as possible and as accurately as possible."
According to the team, Kim focused on muscle strength rather than on the hydraulic pressure is to pump fluid into the legs of the spider to create more muscle power.
"Our results suggest that while Kim is able to move her legs hydraulically, she does not need the extra power from hydraulics to achieve her exceptional jumping performance," said co-researcher Dr. Bill Crowther.