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  • [music]

  • Hey it's me Destin welcome back to Smarter Every Day.

  • I'm in Caleb's room. Caleb is a science fair winner, so he is

  • legit, and you dropped the cat in the cat drop video right?

  • - Yes. - And we had a deal right? I paid you with something. What did I pay you with?

  • - These Lego motors. - That's pretty cool.

  • But I called you and I said I want you to build something for me for a video. What is it?

  • - This Lego inchworm. This battery pack allows

  • the motor to turn, which powers the axle,

  • the worm wheel, the cam which drives the whole thing, and this

  • ratchet, it allows the worm to move in one spot

  • so it doesn't do this. - That's awesome. Oh when you take the ratchet off it doesn't

  • work so you have to put the ratchet back on? So it pushes against itself.

  • That's awesome. So I have been fascinated as long as I can

  • remember with locomotion. That's why Caleb got these motors. So today

  • on Smarter Every Day we're gonna look at caterpillar locomotion. But we have to go back to the Amazon rainforest

  • to see it. It's a group of caterpillars doing something really strange.

  • Let's get Smarter Every Day.

  • So check this out. Gordon found a big caterpillar that's basically

  • a macro organism of a bunch of little caterpillars.

  • And they're all moving as one.

  • That's weird.

  • - They all stop and think at the same time too. See that?

  • (Destin) Gerson, do you know a word for this? - No.

  • - See they all stop at the same time.

  • - Oh that's weird.

  • If you look, like for a

  • school of fish or birds it's usually the bird or the fish in front that dictates where the whole

  • group goes. But if you look at the caterpillars when they're stopping they're doing this little

  • stop and think technique, you'll notice that it propogates from the back to the front sometimes.

  • That's really strange. I wonder what kind of clock or rhythm is dictating this.

  • I don't know. Look at it. Really weird.

  • Alright note to self.

  • Go back and look at the video of the caterpillars and see if the ones on top

  • are moving twice as fast as the ones on bottom, or depending on how many layers up they are

  • if they're moving like three times as fast. So it wasn't until I got here and started playing with Legos that I

  • realised it's not only the second and third level of caterpillars that's moving faster,

  • it's the entire group as a whole. OK to demonstrate this we're gonna have a Lego drag race. You can

  • see I've got a single caterpillar on this side and I have a whole group of caterpillars on this side.

  • At each frame I'm gonna move the single caterpillar one click and I'm gonna move the ones on

  • bottom one click as well as the ones rolling across the top one click. Keep your eyes

  • on the blue caterpillars. Ready, set, wiggle.

  • [slurping sounds]

  • So you can see from our little race here that the

  • caterpillar that was by himself is a lot slower than the caterpillar that was in the group.

  • Now we had two levels. So does that mean that this moved twice as fast?

  • No it doesn't. Do the math for me by looking at these grids and let me know in the comments how much

  • faster. But think about this. What if we had three levels or even more?

  • How much efficiency do the real caterpillars add every time they add a level?

  • I think the coolest part is that they all stop at the same time.

  • Look at that.

  • Then they start back up. Tactile communication right?

  • So thank you for learning about caterpillars with us, and thank you

  • to you Caleb for playing Legos with me, and now I will earn your subscription

  • by walking across Legos barefoot. - Hope that goes well. - I don't owe you anything do I?

  • We're good? We're square? - We're good, we're square. - OK. Have a good one.

  • You're getting Smarter Every Day.

  • So I vote we call this a brood of caterpillars.

  • - A brood? - What are you gonna call it Gordon? - A slather.

  • - Ah ooh. [laughs]

  • Oww, oww.

  • - Hurts, doesn't it? - Yeah, sure does. - Then you see more crazy stuff

  • in like ten minutes out here than you do in a whole year back home.

  • That's it. That's cool. Let's go another twenty feet and find something else in the rainforest.

  • [laugh]

[music]

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B2 caterpillar smarter ratchet lego group locomotion

STRANGE but GENIUS Caterpillar Speed Trick - Smarter Every Day 93

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    李家銘 posted on 2014/02/06
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