Kangaroo gait research attracts $434k in ARC funding | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Kangaroo gait research attracts $434k in ARC funding

25 Nov 2022

A study to understand more about how kangaroos move has attracted major funding to the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The study, led by UniSC Dr Christofer Clemente, will receive $434,000 over three years under a prestigious Discovery Grant from the Australian Research Council announced today.

UniSC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Ross Young said the research had enormous potential to progress human understanding of ecology and conservation, but also could provide ‘bioinspiration’ for the robots and assistive devices of the future.

“We know that kangaroos are swift, powerful and efficient creatures, but there’s a lot we can still learn about exactly how their bodies move, how they manage their energy and how we might apply that knowledge to other areas,” Professor Young said.

“For example, if a kangaroo can speed up without spending more energy, then perhaps we can mimic that movement in the next generation of bioinspired robots and assistive devices ,” he said.

“It will also provide insights into how energetics, morphology and habitat have shaped the evolution of the species, which could open doors to a range of future ecological, physiological and conservation studies.”

The study team – which includes researchers from The University of Queensland, University of London, KU Leuven and University of Southern California – aims to build 3D musculoskeletal models to understand how muscles and tendons interact, enabling greater distances to be travelled using less energy.

They will also use animal tracking devices and machine-learning tools to quantify movements in the wild.

Dr Clemente has previously led other projects to develop robots that mimic lizard movement, enabling the robots to climb vertically up and down.

Professor Young said the funding recognised UniSC’s growing research presence across projects that contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly towards the goals of Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, as well as Life on Land.


Related articles

History suggests recycled water’s time has come
1 Sep 2022

A battle is brewing in South-East Queensland over water, UniSC's Dr Margaret Cook co-writes for The Conversation.

Global interest in koala vaccine leads to funding
14 Mar

Global interest in a vaccine that can treat chlamydia in koalas has resulted in funding that will help University of the Sunshine Coast scientists with the next phase of development.

Global plastic pollution crisis: The Galápagos Islands under threat
13 Mar

It is one of most pristine and protected places in the world, but new research has revealed the alarming extent of plastic pollution in the Galápagos archipelago and the harm it poses to the rare and endangered animals who live there.

Search results for Recent news