Oct 11, 2017

Mario-style jumping spider experimental rig

Hey! A lot of things have happened in my life in the past two months, so I've been pretty delayed in posts.

A little bit about what's going on in my life currently - I'm now a researcher in the Shamble Lab! We study jumping spiders and try to figure out how they work. (The PI already has a bunch of cool discoveries about these critters, check them out)

We do a lot of serious experiments, but also some silly ones. This one is a play on a map from SuperMario3 (it's World 1-1)

We were creating repeatable horizontal/vertical obstacles to measure how far spiders were willing to jump, then realized we effectively were making a side-scrolling game. So we made one!

This version was made from lasercut acrylic, with tape on the tops and sides of the platforms to provide grippy surfaces. The entire setup was mounted on 2ft tall foamcore panels, to dis-incentivize  the spiders from simply leaving the stage.

However, the spiders behaved as you would expect a 3D character to behave in a 2D world - exited as soon as they got bored.

At least we got a video.