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Small, lime green and undeniably cute - inchworms - childhood symbols, math teaching aides, protagonist of Richard Scarry books (Lowly Worm), live food for aquarium fish and biological models for some robots' mode of mobility; inchworms are endlessly fascinating. I'm happy when I find one, except when I'm growing broccoli. One type of inchworm is also known as Cabbage Loopers and is the larvae of a small white butterfly. They love to eat all members of the Brassica family.

"Inchworm, inchworm,
measuring the marigolds,
you and your arithmetic
will probably go far.
Inchworm, inchworm,
measuring the marigolds,
seems to me you'd stop and see
how beautiful they are!"

by Frank Loesser from the movie "Hans Christian Anderson" starring Danny Kay

Inchworm Mobility--Stable, Reliable and Inexpensive
Alexander Ferworn
Bell Sygma Telecom Solutions
Deborah A. Stacey
Department of Computing and Information Science

(partially quoted here) "This paper examines some of the more interesting characteristics of inchworm mobility. Empirical evidence of a working system's performance is presented which suggests that this form of mobility may be applicable to environments with extremely rough, uneven terrain.

Flexible, robust and extremely stable, the larvae of the Geometer moths, or inchworms, exhibit mobility which should be the envy of many man-made systems Opler 94. The inchworm is capable of maneuvering in extremely small spaces, can do so in arbitrary orientations to gravity and can withstand substantial external forces attempting to diverge it from its intended course. It can do these things because its mobility system is governed by a simple rule--"Never let go of what you're holding until you're holding something else!"

The inchworm strategy is deceptively simple yet extraordinarily powerful. Having an elongated body with many small foot pads placed at either end of its body, the inchworm's mode of locomotion is to firmly attach the rear portion of its body to a surface via its foot pads, extending the remainder of its body forward, attaching it to the surface and bringing the rear part of its body to meet the forward part. In this way, the inchworm always has at least one portion of its body firmly attached to a surface."

for some cute animation clipart go to:

Inch"worm` (?), n. Zool.

The larva of any geometrid moth. See Geometrid.


© Webster 1913.

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