Biomimetic Robot Animals - Not All Are Cute

The New York Times recently published a good article on biomimetic robots - cute robots that mimic animal movements. Robots that resemble lobsters, big dogs, snakes, elephant trunks - everything but Philip K. Dick's electric sheep:

"He ascended … to the covered pasture whereon his electric sheep "grazed." Whereon it, sophisticated piece of hardware that it was, chomped away in simulated contentment, bamboozling the other tenants of the building."
(More from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.)

However, not all biomimetic robots are cute, or even ambulatory. Consider, for example, an undulatory robot based on the lamprey parasite.




(From Lamprey Robot Video - 7 Mb)

"The body of the robot is composed of a flexible polyurethane strip which has an array of Nitinol™ wires affixed on each side. The wire arrays are staggered along the body axis so that the most anterior and posterior wires do not overlap. This allows the body to flex at any point and for flexion waves to propagate. The rod and Nitinol™ array are encased in a molded rubber form. During preliminary testing we have determined that the cooling by a surrounding water or oil bath is adequate to permit rapid wire relaxation and undulations at up to 4 hz."
Lamprey-Based Undulatory Robot
The lamprey-based robot was developed using work done by Dr. Ayers (of RoboLobster fame) and others. Hopefully, DARPA will never give the go-ahead for a robotic version of the business end of a sea lamprey (the mouth - see below).


(From Sea Lamprey

Read more (if you must) about the Lamprey-Based Undulatory Robot.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/24/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Button-Pushing Robots Have Taken Our Jobs, Thankfully
'The ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'- Schachner and Zagat, 1931.

Small Molecule Walker Takes First Steps
'The bits were in motion.'-- Philip K. Dick, 1955.

New 'Smart-Skin' Senses Pressure, Humidity, Heat
'You can even sense with your fingertips...'- Martin Caidin, 1972.

Flying Robot Waiters From Infinium Robotics
'It was a smooth ovoid floating a few inches from the floor...'- H. Beam Piper, 1962.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Smart Window Tints, Powers Itself
'The polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.'

A Basic Income TED Talk
'They de-emphasized what lack of work would do to Mr. Everyman'

What Can Magic Leap Expect From New 'Chief Futurist' Neal Stephenson?
'The goggles throw a light, smoky haze across his eyes...'

Should SETI Talk To Molecular Cloud Barnard 68?
'I myself am building basic chemicals at about 10,000,000,000 times the rate at which building is occurring on the whole ... surface of your planet.'

LikeAGlove Smart Garment Knows Your Size
'The tailor set moving a mechanism...'

EXACTO Bullets Change Course In Mid-Air
'This little weapon ejects a rather ingenious missile...'

Button-Pushing Robots Have Taken Our Jobs, Thankfully
'The ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'

Puls 'Smart Watch' Replaces Your Cell Phone
Even before Dick Tracy, there were Ideas about this.

Small Molecule Walker Takes First Steps
'The bits were in motion.'

US Navy Laser Ready For Use
Fifty years from cartoon to reality.

Fast Lightweight Autonomy Indoor Drones For DARPA
'the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom... and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'

Ninebot One Self-Balancing Wheel
'It had been a long time since the Chief Engineer had ridden one of these silly-looking little vehicles...'

FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator And Psychohistory
'The reactions of human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli...'

Stellar Navigation Based On Network Analysis
'We are a traveling people. We need a travel station here.'

New 'Smart-Skin' Senses Pressure, Humidity, Heat
'You can even sense with your fingertips...'

Mimo Baby Monitor
'In every diaper there is a fine copper wire.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.