'Sandfish' Robot Moves Through Sand

A new sand-diving robot based on the sandfish lizard has been developed by a team led by Daniel I. Goldman, a physicist at Georgia Institute of Technology.

The sandfish lizard tucks in its limbs and wiggles forward with a whole-body sinusoidal traveling wave motion. Take a look at this video to see how the robot imitates the living organism.


(Sandfish robot video)

the team built a 35-centimetre-long version of the robot, made from seven aluminium segments linked by six motors, all clothed in spandex to prevent the motors from becoming jammed.

The team then tested their robot by burying it in a container filled with plastic spheres 6 millimetres across. When the robot undulated its body at a frequency similar to the lizard, they found it could move forward at speeds of up to 0.3 body lengths per wave cycle - just below the 0.4 body lengths per cycle that a submerged lizard can achieve.

The intent is to create robots that can easily move through rubble to find and rescue people trapped in earthquakes or other catastrophes.

Science fiction writers (and readers) tend to find more sinister uses for robots that move easily through the earth and sand. For example, the claws from Philip K. Dick's 1953 story Second Variety are described burrowing upward from underground robotic factories - they "run and burrow."


(Claws - or Screamers - from the 1995 movie)

Consider also the robot earthworms from Harry Harrison's 1962 short story War With The Robots.

Read more about the sandfish lizard-based robot research and see the more recent New Scientist article.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/26/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...' - JG Ballard, 1962.

Drywall Robot Looking For Sheetrock
Sheetrockers have sure changed since my day. Speaking as someone who as done this, I welcome robots.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'

Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.