Take off : In nature, you're not likely to ever see a bird get a piggyback ride from a cockroach and then take off from its back. But in the world of bio-inspired robotics, such things can and do happen. Researchers from the UC Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have successfully demonstrated a cooperative launching system that puts a lightweight ornithopter on the back of its VelociRoACH robotic carpet crawler for a short run before the H2Bird takes to the air.
Fast : Rather than running on straight legs, it has a rolling gait on six C-shaped legs, which lets it travel at a remarkably high speed. A version of the VelociRoach, the X2, broke the robot speed record for robots of its size, reaching velocities of up to 4.9 metres per second.
Cooperative Launch : With the robotic flapper on its back, the VelociRoACH motors were found to use up to 24.5 percent more power. But just having the bird in its cradle resulted in the ambulating carrier bot running with more stability, reducing the variance in pitch and roll velocity by as much as 90 percent. The researchers also discovered that having the bird flap its wings slightly while being carried helped increase the average velocity of the robot roach by 12.7 percent.
Sources and Links
UC Berkeley's Site: http://robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/~ronf/Biomimetics.html
Paper (not yet published) : http://robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/~ronf/PAPERS/crose-icra15.pdf
Paper with information on the Ornithopter: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2013/EECS-2013-60.pdf