HORSE (Equus caballus)
Can gallop at a speed of up to 30 miles per hour (50 km/
Consider what occurs when a horse gallops. Elastic muscle-tendon units absorb energy when the leg steps onto the ground, and much like a spring, they return it, propelling the horse forward.
Furthermore, at a gallop the horse’s legs vibrate at high frequencies that could injure its tendons. However, the muscles in the legs act as dampers. Researchers call this structure a “highly specialized muscle-tendon design” that provides both agility and strength.
Engineers are trying to imitate the design of the horse’s legs for use in four-legged robots. However, according to the Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the complexity of this design cannot be easily duplicated with current materials and engineering knowledge.
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