In a phasmid episode of The New York Times series ScienceTake from 2016, host James Gorman explains the fascinating mechanics behind the movement of stick insects and how this data was directly applied to a six-legged rescue robot named Hector.
The hind legs provided most of the power pushing the insect forward. The middle legs were more involved in braking and steering. Both middle and hind legs bore the insect’s weight. The front legs mostly poked and probed to test what lay ahead. All this research is in the service of making a six-legged robot named Hector the best it can be.