Biomimicry
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Octopus-Inspired Robot Enhanced With Webbing

Octopus-Inspired Robot Enhanced With Webbing | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Studying the movements of creatures in the natural world is very useful to robotics as the latest version of a robotic octopus from Greece shows. But real octopodes could also learn from their robotic cousin, which uses its octopus-inspired anatomy to propel itself in new ways.
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Special Research Journal Issue on Biomimetic Drone Control

Special Research Journal Issue on Biomimetic Drone Control | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The Journal of Bioinspiration and Biomimetics has a special issue on bioinspired drone control. Chock full of fascinating stuff, most of it free to read."

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Nature Inspires Flying Robot Design

Nature Inspires Flying Robot Design | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Nature is inspiring the design of the next generation of drones, or flying robots, that could eventually be used for everything from military surveillance to search and rescue."

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Scientist Develops Cartwheeling Moroccan Spider-inspired Robot for Mars Mission

Scientist Develops Cartwheeling Moroccan Spider-inspired Robot for Mars Mission | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Robot intended for rough terrain, like that on Mars, takes inspiration from a cartwheeling desert-dwelling spider. Dubbed Tabbot, the robot can walk or roll over the surface.
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Robot Octopus Shows Off New Sculls

Robot Octopus Shows Off New Sculls | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
"Octopi are pro swimmers, thanks (at least in part) to that octet of arms they've got going on. They've adopted a particular swimming gait called sculling, which works great for them, but until they start publishing scientific papers, we're missing out on all of their gait testing data. Roboticists have had to start from scratch, and along the way, they've experimented with some swimming gaits that we've never seen a real octopus try and pull off."
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Fish Robots Search for Pollution in the Waters

Fish Robots Search for Pollution in the Waters | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A number of robotic fish are going to be used in an experiment in the port of Gijon in Spain in order to evaluate how effectively and cost-efficiently they can detect water pollution. The carp-shaped robots are part of a three-year research project of Huosheng Hu and his robotics team at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex. The robot fish could be used to inspect rivers, lakes and seas. The life-like creatures, which mimic the undulating movement of real fish, are 1.5 meters (5 feet) long and will be equipped with tiny chemical sensors. These sensors are used to find sources of potentially hazardous pollutants in the water, such as leaks from vessels in the port or underwater pipelines. When they recharge their batteries via a “charging hub” they will be able to transmit the information to the port’s control center. This will enable the authorities to map the source and scale of the pollution virtually in real time."

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Termite-like Robots Can Construct Buildings wWith no Central Leader

Termite-like Robots Can Construct Buildings wWith no Central Leader | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Insects don’t have the capacity to reason, and yet some are capable of building complex structures and executing complex foraging expeditions with no central organizing. That’s why researchers recently sent ants to the International Space Station and will observe how the change in gravity affects the ants’ ability to organize. At Harvard, scientists are taking their inspiration from termites, which can spend generations building mounds that stretch multiple feet into the air. On Thursday, a research team revealed a crew of iPad-sized robots that can build structures with no input from a central leader."

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E-Whiskers Have Arrived to Fulfill All Your Robot Cat Dreams

E-Whiskers Have Arrived to Fulfill All Your Robot Cat Dreams | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Sensitive electronic whiskers pave the way for increased interaction between robots and their external environments.
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Rise Of The Insect Drones

Rise Of The Insect Drones | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Nature spent millions of years perfecting flapping-wing flight. Now engineers can reproduce it with machines.
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Scientists study 'fishy' behavior to solve an animal locomotion mystery (w/ Video)

Scientists study 'fishy' behavior to solve an animal locomotion mystery (w/ Video) | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A quirk of nature has long baffled biologists: Why do animals push in directions that don't point toward their goal, like the side-to-side sashaying of a running lizard or cockroach? An engineer building a robot would likely avoid these movements because they seem wasteful. So why do animals behave this way?

A multi-institutional research team, led by Johns Hopkins engineers, says it has solved this puzzle. In an article published in the Nov. 4-8 online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team reported that these extra forces are not wasteful after all: They allow animals to increase both stability and maneuverability, a feat that is often described as impossible in engineering textbooks."

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WildCat Robot Feline is on the Prowl

WildCat Robot Feline is on the Prowl | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Boston Dynamics, the robotics company with a knack for making creepy biomimetic automatons like the pack-carrying BigDog and the bipedal Atlas, has unleashed new creation upon the world: WildCat. WildCat is the next generation of the Cheetah, which is capable of hitting speeds of 29 mph, making it the fastest robot animal in the world. However, Cheetah was tethered and ran its paces on a treadmill. WildCat runs only 16 mph now, Boston Dynamics says, but it gallops free across different types of terrain. Check out the video to see it get into a smoking, buzzing fit and then tear about a parking lot."

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The Evolution of the Bioinspired Robot

The Evolution of the Bioinspired Robot | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
To build a better robot, engineers are turning to an experienced problem solver—nature.
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Steerable Paper Planes and Maple Seeds the Basis for Life-saving, Disposable UAVs

Steerable Paper Planes and Maple Seeds the Basis for Life-saving, Disposable UAVs | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The term "UAV" generally leads us to think about expensive, high-tech military drones like General Atomics' Predator, but a Robotics team led by Dr. Paul Pounds at Australia's University of Queensland has created a pair of UAVs that are so cheap and easy to manufacture that they'll literally be disposable, single use items. One's basically a high-tech paper plane, while the other follows the form factor of a maple seed with both designed to help save lives in the event of a forest fire."

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MIT Demonstrates Slithering Rubber Robot

MIT Demonstrates Slithering Rubber Robot | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] The snake is proving to be a very versatile model when it comes to robotic biomimicry. Applications ranging from inspecting nuclear power plants toassembling aircraft and even exploring Mars have been identified for snake-like robots, but unlike these and many other robot designs, MIT's silicone rubber robot doesn’t have fixed-joints and the lack of mobility and flexibility they bring. Instead, this soft-shelled automaton is constructed with a group of hollow, individually inflatable channels ranged down either side of it that, when filled with air, change shape and bend that part of the arm in the required direction. Inflating or deflating these air pockets at various places on the arm means that it can be deformed into almost any curve or arc; a feat impossible with solid, fixed-joint machines."

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'Robot Sperm' Controlled by Magnets

'Robot Sperm' Controlled by Magnets | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Engineers have built a sperm-like robot that they can control with magnets. The simple design has a metal-coated head and a flexible body about six times longer than a human sperm. Using a magnetic field no stronger than a fridge magnet, the team made the robot "swim" forward and steered it towards a fixed point."

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Plant-mimicking Robots Could Help Explore Our World

Plant-mimicking Robots Could Help Explore Our World | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"In the world of biomimicry, plants haven't necessarily been overlooked, but compared to animals -- especially in robotics -- there have been far fewer projects inspired by them. That's why it's neat to read about a project that revolves completely around finding ways to build robots that mimic plants, in particular their roots."

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Kangaroo-bot Shows Promise in the Idea of Hopping Machines

Kangaroo-bot Shows Promise in the Idea of Hopping Machines | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
A new bio-inspired robot looks to steal one of evolution's most efficient (and unique) forms of locomotion. Say hello to the world's first 'roobot.
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Robot Razor Clams Make Better Anchors

Robot Razor Clams Make Better Anchors | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"At MIT, nature has long been a source of inspiration, and in a new project two researchers turn to the razor clam as inspiration for their burrowing robot. The burrowing bot, know as the RoboClam, is about half the size of a lighter but is controlled by an off board set of apparatuses, including pressure regulators, pistons and other control mechanisms."

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Electric Fish Inspire Agile Robots

Electric Fish Inspire Agile Robots | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Ghost knifefish, as they are known, put a small current through the water to sense their environment, and undulate a long fin to move around. Scientists at Northwestern University, US, believe both features could be harnessed in a new class of autonomous underwater vehicles.

They are developing robots that will be able to swim around debris in total darkness, such as inside a sunken ship."

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Roboticists Discover the Secret of Insect Flight, and it's Not Wings

Roboticists Discover the Secret of Insect Flight, and it's Not Wings | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
When it comes to insect flight, we usually only think about how the insect's wings contribute to aerial stability. But scientists have now discovered that the abdominal movements of some insects also play a large role in flight control, particularly when hovering — a finding that could lead to improved aerial drones.
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Space Lizard Robots Designed as Cosmic Cleaners

Space Lizard Robots Designed as Cosmic Cleaners | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Space lizards with sticky feet have been created to act as cosmic cleaners by the European Space Agency. The robots have been designed to mimic gecko lizards in order to help clean the outside of spacecrafts. Researchers at ESA and the Simon Fraser University in Canada believe their 'dry adhesive' materials inspired by geckos could lead to hull-crawling automatons that look after future spaceships."

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Robot Turtle helps Underwater Archaeologists Inspect Shipwrecks

Robot Turtle helps Underwater Archaeologists Inspect Shipwrecks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The Robot Safari in London Science Museum will see the world premiere of the underwater robot U-CAT, a highly maneuverable robot turtle, designed to penetrate shipwrecks. U-CAT’s locomotion principle is similar to sea turtles. Independently driven four flippers make the robot highly maneuverable; it can swim forward and backward, up and down and turn on spot in all directions. Maneuverability is a desirable feature when inspecting confined spaces such as shipwrecks. The robot carries an onboard camera and the video footage can be later used to reconstruct the underwater site."

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Some Robots Are Starting to Move More Like Humans

Some Robots Are Starting to Move More Like Humans | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Robots usually look rigid and nonhuman, with joints engineered to avoid the elasticity that can make their movements less predictable and harder to control. Roboy, a robot developed by Rolf Pfeifer and colleagues in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Zurich, is an example of a different approach that is slowly gaining momentum.

Roboy has a four-foot-tall human shape and a set of “muscles” inspired by the human musculoskeletal system. The plastic muscles work together via electrical motors and artificial tendons. Tendon-driven systems like Roboy mimic the flexible mechanics of biology, and could result in a new class of robots that are lighter, safer, and move in a more natural way."

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Bee Flight Inspires Robot Design

Bee Flight Inspires Robot Design | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Footage of bumblebees flying in a wind tunnel reveals how the insects manage in adverse weather, a discovery that could aid the design of flying robots.
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3D Printer-Built Robot Has Insect Moves

3D Printer-Built Robot Has Insect Moves | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Some robotics experts focused on biomimicry have turned to work in tech hives where their tiny robots are designed to imitate the moves of insects. At UC Berkleley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab, David Zarrouk, Andrew Pullin, Nick Kohut, and Ronald Fearing are working on STAR, which stands for Sprawl Tuned Autonomous Robot. In their paper of the same title, "STAR, A Sprawl Tuned Autonomous Robot," they present their project, a six-legged, sprawl-tuned robot with a variable leg sprawl angle in the transverse plane to adapt its stiffness, height, and leg-to-surface contact angle."

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