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Robotic Sea Turtle Scoots Over Sandy Surfaces [Video]

Do you need a robot that can move easily over loose sand, perhaps to serve drinks at your next beach party? Georgia Tech may be able to help you out. Last month, the University debuted a lizard inspired robot that can run over sand. This morning, they’re back with another robot designed to scamper adorably across sand dunes, this one inspired by the motion of baby seat turtles. According to the Georgia Tech team, the key to the turtle’s speedy movement is all in the wrist.

To test that theory, they designed FlipperBot, a robot that moves over sand and loose soil just like a baby sea turtle, only without getting eaten by sea gulls. Check out the video for an explanation of the tech behind the robot, which could help researchers answer mechanical questions about how fins and flippers turned into arms and legs, as well as improve robot mobility in the future, leaving you even fewer places to hide in the coming robot rebellion.

(via Georgia Tech)

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