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.
Bioinspiration and Biomimetics
One of the toughest hurdles to clear for the next generation of robotics is trying to teach robots the senses that we use everyday, or at least develop accurate analogs for them. Researchers at the University of Tokyo are tackling the problem of teaching robots to smell with a little help from the humble silk moth. They've put a male moth in the driver's seat of a small, two-wheeled robot, letting the moth's powerful attraction to the scent of female silk moth pheromones help it guide the robot across a chamber. As the moth drives, the robot takes lessons from it in tracking down and following scent trails, and also in moth courtship, a skill that will probably come in less handy. Keep reading to see the world's smallest mech pilot it in action below.