Meet “Kim” the Amazing Spider That Jumps On Command

Meet “Kim” the Amazing Spider That Jumps On Command

Anyone out there with a serious phobia of spiders should probably just leave the room right now. In what might just be every person’s worst nightmare, scientists have recently achieved the incredible feat of being able to make a spider jump on command. In a recent study scientists trained a spider they’ve named “Kim” to jump on command. They didn’t do this simply to attain a new party trick to scare people with on April Fools Day. The scientists involved in the project are hoping that this will help them to create robots that will be able to better mirror the movements of spiders. Incredibly, they were able to get Kim to jump short distances, around twice the length of her body, as well as distances of up to 6 times her body length. Let’s just all be thankful your little brother or son wasn’t the one to figure this out first.

The scientists running the project actually started out with four rather adorable (for a spider) regal jumping spiders. Only the affectionately named Kim had the smarts to actually master the commands taught to the spiders. The scientists hoped to better understand just how these little spiders are able to jump so far, which would then help them build more advanced robots capable of doing similar feats. Using an ultra-high-speed, high-resolution camera, they were able to film Kim jumping various lengths, as well as other exercises, such as having her jump to higher surfaces and then back down to lower ones. During this, the scientists carefully watched to figure out exactly how Kim is able to do this, specifically how she changed her jumps and how she used her body to do them depending on the different tasks the scientists gave her.

During their study the scientists found that when Kim had to jump shorter distances, she used a more accurate hop, requiring a bigger burst of energy in order to increase her chances of successfully catching her prey. For longer jumps, however, she jumped with less accuracy but more efficiency in terms of the amount of energy she used. Next we will be seeing these little robot spiders jumping around everywhere…let’s just hope they don’t fall into the hands of Venom instead of Spider Man.

What kind of advances could scientists make with tiny spider robots that can jump just like real jumping spiders? What could scientists use them for?

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