Animal minds

Researchers teach a spider to jump on demand

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From National Geographic:

They trained Kim by creating a gentle tool to repeatedly bring her from one platform to the other. This conditioned the spider to eventually start jumping to the target without the assistance of the tool. They used 3D CT scanning and high-speed cameras to capture and research the spider’s jumps.More.

It seems odd to think of teaching an arachnid something but this method might get past usual barriers by addressing something the spider does anyway and avoiding the need for the spider to know it is interacting with another life form.

The researchers’ aim is jumping microbots.

See also: Does intelligence depend on a specific type of brain?

2 Replies to “Researchers teach a spider to jump on demand

  1. 1
    ronvanwegen says:

    To be fair spiders have already taught us to do the same.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    If studying purposeful arthropod-style jumps for robotics is really their goal, they didn’t need to train anything. Just film grasshoppers and fleas. Or use one of the many Jumping Spider species, like the one that jumped onto my face last night when I was about ready for sleep.

    I suspect these researchers are more interested in the conditioning than the jumping.

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