Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a robotic cockroach that can crawl through the tightest of gaps. The team began by studying actual cockroaches, observing how they moved through the densely packed rainforest floor. While some obstacles are pushed past or climbed over, the cockroaches frequently rolled their body at an almost-90-degree angle to scamper through openings. The next step was to fit these real-world 'roaches with artificial shells and see how this aided or hampered their mobility. The result was perhaps obvious: the less cylindrical the shell, the less effective the insects were at performing the roll manoeuvre.