Sandfish Lizard robot

Robots are constantly evolving, with new designs created all the time all for different purposes. And despite the robots being man made technology, it’s not uncommon to see nature being used as inspiration for a machine’s design. Case in point, the cheetah and dog robots we wrote about awhile ago. Now there’s one more to add to the list – a robot inspired by the sandfish lizard.

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The researchers over at the Georgia Institute of Technology recently created a robot that can swim through a granular medium. So just like the sandfish, it can dive into sand and swim through it. It is made up of 7 connected segments, each on powered by a servo motor, encased in a latex sock and wrapped in a spandex swimsuit. It has a wedge-shaped head that allows it to burrow into sand, just like the sandfish lizard.

The team hopes that one day, the robot can be used to dive into debris where it can swim to reach trapped earthquake victims. It’s going to be awhile before these robots will be used to rescue people, but the researchers are now testing it in material similar to that found at disaster sites. Watch a video demonstration of the sandfish lizard robot:

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