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Joints have two degrees of bending freedom: arthropods


Joint on leg of praying mantis / Roger Smith / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

The joints of some arthropods have two degrees of bending freedom (up-down and left-right) thanks to two 1-degree bending joints found at right angles to each other.

"Bending both up-down and left-right…Arthropods gain two degrees of bending freedom by putting two 1-degree bending joints next to each other, each oriented at a right angle to the other…The classic work on such cases was done by S.M. Manton, in the 1950s and 1960s; as put, with a long list of references, by Wainwright et al. (1976), 'The accounts of her researches in this field constitute a monument in the study of mechanical design of the most mechanically diverse group of organisms that have ever lived.'" (Vogel 2003:403)
About the inspiring organism

Learn more at
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Improved universal joints in automobiles, joy sticks to assist the disabled.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Automotive, disability products

Vogel S. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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