Prehistoric sea creature will get reborn as a soft-bodied robotic

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Pleurocystitid was a marine organism that existed nearly 450 million years in the past, lengthy earlier than the primary dinosaurs. Scientists have now constructed a soft-bodied robotic duplicate of it, which might encourage new strategies of locomotion for future robots.

Together with its bizarre look, pleurocystitid is understood for being one of many first echinoderms to be able to motion by way of a muscular stem-like appendage. Current-day members of the echinoderm class embrace starfish, sea urchins, sand {dollars} and brittle stars.

Led by professors Phil LeDuc and Carmel Majidi, scientists at Carnegie Mellon College’s Division of Mechanical Engineering lately got down to see precisely how pleurocystitid used its stem to maneuver throughout the ocean ground. Using fossils as a information, they proceeded to construct a (partially) soft-bodied robotic pleurocystitid with a versatile motorized swishing stem.

A fossil pleurocystitid, which guided the design of the robot
A fossil pleurocystitid, which guided the design of the robotic

Carnegie Mellon College

When the “paleobionic” system was examined within the lab, the researchers found that huge sweeping actions of the stem labored finest for pushing the robotic ahead. What’s extra, it was additionally discovered that rising the size of the stem considerably boosted the robotic’s velocity with out utilizing any extra power.

The findings might finally be used to information the design of robots that shortly however effectively transfer throughout the ocean ground or comparable environments. And naturally, the research additionally supplies invaluable insights into how marine organisms’ strategies of locomotion have modified over hundreds of thousands of years.

“Bringing a brand new life to one thing that existed almost 500 million years in the past is thrilling in and of itself, however what actually excites us about this breakthrough is how a lot we can study from it,” mentioned LeDuc.

The robotic might be seen in motion, within the video under.

Phil LeDuc and Carmel Majidi: Paleobionics: Robotics Impressed by Extinct Species

Supply: Carnegie Mellon College

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