In new research published in the journal, Science, Professor Manny Azizi and his colleagues, Sarah Bergbreiter (University of Maryland) and S.N. Patek (Duke University), describe a new mathematical model to help understand how small organisms generate amplifying mechanisms that allow them to jump, strike and react with great power and speed. The team sought to answer how life has evolved efficient biological systems such as the spring-latch mechanisms in small organisms. Their research generated a mathematical model to describe how variables like weight and material composition work together with muscles to influence power. With this new model, biologists can better predict theoretical limits of organismic movement, and engineers can develop smaller and more powerful robots.