'Sandfish' Robot Moves Through Sand

A new sand-diving robot based on the sandfish lizard has been developed by a team led by Daniel I. Goldman, a physicist at Georgia Institute of Technology.

The sandfish lizard tucks in its limbs and wiggles forward with a whole-body sinusoidal traveling wave motion. Take a look at this video to see how the robot imitates the living organism.


(Sandfish robot video)

the team built a 35-centimetre-long version of the robot, made from seven aluminium segments linked by six motors, all clothed in spandex to prevent the motors from becoming jammed.

The team then tested their robot by burying it in a container filled with plastic spheres 6 millimetres across. When the robot undulated its body at a frequency similar to the lizard, they found it could move forward at speeds of up to 0.3 body lengths per wave cycle - just below the 0.4 body lengths per cycle that a submerged lizard can achieve.

The intent is to create robots that can easily move through rubble to find and rescue people trapped in earthquakes or other catastrophes.

Science fiction writers (and readers) tend to find more sinister uses for robots that move easily through the earth and sand. For example, the claws from Philip K. Dick's 1953 story Second Variety are described burrowing upward from underground robotic factories - they "run and burrow."


(Claws - or Screamers - from the 1995 movie)

Consider also the robot earthworms from Harry Harrison's 1962 short story War With The Robots.

Read more about the sandfish lizard-based robot research and see the more recent New Scientist article.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/26/2010)

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 ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

Autonomous Concrete Floor Finishing Robot
Keep those construction site robots coming.

effie Automated Ironing Appliance
'Household Automata received an urgent task to develop production units of бытовые тканевые разглаживk

 

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

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...'

Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
'...a shirt that displayed email on its sleeve.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...'

PRIMA Bionic Vision Restoration
'The VISOR... was a medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who have suffered loss of eyesight...'

Audi Traffic Jam Pilot Knows If You're Sleeping
'Even here, riding a garbage truck to eternity, the machine watched him...'

UM Hall Thruster Breaks Records
Someday, we'll see an ion drive used to get to Mars.

Ionity Ultra-fast Charging Station Network
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

VAuth Voice Security Wearable From University of Michigan
'Siri, I gave you a voice command...' 'Yes, but do I know you?'

Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.

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.