Jumping insects develop accelerations that can greatly exceed gravitational acceleration. Although several species have been analysed using different tools, ranging from a purely physical to a morpho-physiological approach, instantaneous dynamic and kinematic data concerning the jumping motion are lacking. This is mainly due to the difficulty in observing in detail events that occur in a few milliseconds. In this study, the behaviour of the green leafhopper, Cicadella viridis, was investigated during the take-off phase of the jump, through high-speed video recordings (8000 frames s-1). We demonstrate that C. viridis is able to maintain fairly constant acceleration during overall leg elongation. The force exerted at the foot-ground interface is nearly constant and differs from the force expected from other typical motion models. A biomechanical model was used to highlight that this ability relies on the morphology of C. viridis hind legs, which act as a motion converter with a variable transmission ratio and use the time-dependent musculo-elastic force to generate a nearly constant thrust at the body-ground interface. This modulation mechanism minimizes the risk of breaking the substrate thanks to the absence of force peaks. The results of this study are of broad relevance in different research fields ranging from biomechanics to robotics. © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

The green leafhopper, cicadella viridis (hemiptera, auchenorrhyncha, cicadellidae), jumps with near-constant acceleration

BONSIGNORI, GABRIELLA;STEFANINI, CESARE;DARIO, PAOLO
2013

Abstract

Jumping insects develop accelerations that can greatly exceed gravitational acceleration. Although several species have been analysed using different tools, ranging from a purely physical to a morpho-physiological approach, instantaneous dynamic and kinematic data concerning the jumping motion are lacking. This is mainly due to the difficulty in observing in detail events that occur in a few milliseconds. In this study, the behaviour of the green leafhopper, Cicadella viridis, was investigated during the take-off phase of the jump, through high-speed video recordings (8000 frames s-1). We demonstrate that C. viridis is able to maintain fairly constant acceleration during overall leg elongation. The force exerted at the foot-ground interface is nearly constant and differs from the force expected from other typical motion models. A biomechanical model was used to highlight that this ability relies on the morphology of C. viridis hind legs, which act as a motion converter with a variable transmission ratio and use the time-dependent musculo-elastic force to generate a nearly constant thrust at the body-ground interface. This modulation mechanism minimizes the risk of breaking the substrate thanks to the absence of force peaks. The results of this study are of broad relevance in different research fields ranging from biomechanics to robotics. © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Bonsignori, Gabriella; Stefanini, Cesare; Scarfogliero, Umberto; Mintchev, Stefano; Benelli, Giovanni; Dario, Paolo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/808503
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