While it might look like a giant robotic pet, scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have actually created the "FlipperBot" to generate new data on how organisms move.
The robot mimics the movements of sea turtle hatchlings struggling to reach the ocean. These little creatures need to rely on dexterity and flexibility in their wrists to get around without moving a lot of the surrounding sand.
"We are looking at different ways that robots can move about on sand," Daniel Goldman, an associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said in a statement. "We wanted to make a systematic study of what makes flippers useful or effective. We've learned that the flow of the materials plays a large role in the strategy that can be used by either animals or robots."… Read more