It has been the approach of several roboticists to impersonate animals while working on the precision of mechanical movements of a machine eventually based off of biological processes.
Pleurobot, an innovative salamander-like robot pursues to be the most anatomically precise and representative robot of an animal to date whose movements are fascinating. The mechanical design of this robot was created via the tracking of over 64 points on real salamanders as they passed through various terrain. In this way, the engineers at Bio Robotics were capable of reproducing the skeleton of the amphibious creature mechanically. Each movement of the Pleurobot has been developed to anatomically accurate to 3 dimensions to real salamanders. Check out the video below to have a closer look:
According to Bio Robotics, “We recorded three-dimensional X-ray videos of salamanders, Pleurodeles waltl, walking on ground, walking underwater and swimming. Tracking up to 64 points on the animal’s skeleton we were able to record three-dimensional movements of bones in great detail.”
The research project is trying to achieve the goal of establishing the process of mimicking animal function by point tracking actual behaviour. The team has exerted themselves to create a method that has the ability to enthuse the creation of future designs.
The Pleurobot itself is an accomplishment of its own beyond the key methodological approach. The robot has the ability of swimming and navigating rough terrain without losing its balance due to a waterproof skin and a low centre of gravity. Have a look at some of the methodology developed through the process of creating the Pleurobot.
As per Bio Robotics, National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) in Robotics and the Swiss National Science Foundation have funded this research project. Of all of the inspiring features established through this salamander robot, it consists of 27 individual points of freedom, thereby permitting flexibility seen in no other robotic device.
Bio Robotics stated:
“Our aim is to demonstrate how Pleurobot’s design methodology, along with recent methods for robotic production, may yield fast and cost effective platforms able to become a physical interface for: i)neuroscientists, ii) bio mechanists, functional morphologists and palaeontologists and iii) roboticists.”
Even though the level of life-likeness that the robot like Pleurobot has is just too scary, however, it also points towards the future of bio-robotics.