Salamandra Robotica II Crawls Onto Land
Take a look at this robotic amphibian from Switzerland.
Salamandra robotica II comes from the Biorobotics Laboratory at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne technical university in Switzerland. Its ability to swim, crawl, and walk makes it unusual in the robotics world. For people with a fear of robots, that means there's nowhere to escape from it (unless you can fly).
The amphibious robot uses a digital version of a spinal cord neural network to control its movements. It is helping researchers understand how salamanders are able to move and make the transition between water and land. Based on a video of Salamandra robotica II showing off its moves, I'd say the researchers have really nailed it. I don't think I'd want to unwittingly stumble on this thing emerging from the inky waters of the local pond.
SF writers have been enjoying the segmented crawly robots since the
mining worm from Emmett McDowell's 1946 short story Love Among the Robots.
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