‘Square’ seahorse tails can inspire future ‘armored’ robots

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Published: July 3, 2015 7:15:47 PM

A new research has suggested that cylindrical tail of seahorse, which is organized into square prisms and surrounded by bony plates connected by joints, can inspire the future technological breakthrough in robotics.

A new research has suggested that cylindrical tail of seahorse, which is organized into square prisms and surrounded by bony plates connected by joints, can inspire the future technological breakthrough in robotics.

The research conducted by Clemson University observed that many other creatures like New World monkeys to rodents have cylindrical tails and they tried to analyse whether the square-prism shape of tail gives seahorse a functional advantage or not.

The researchers found that the square prototype of seahorse tail was stiffer, stronger and more resilient than the circular one when crushed and the square one was able to prevent damage to the seahorse and give better control when it grabs things.

Michael M. Porter, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, said that the seahorse tail could inspire new forms of armor robots and search-and-rescue robots that move on the ground like a snake and are able to contract to fit into tight spaces.

Porter further shared that he and his team of researchers haven’t gotten that far with the applications side of things yet, but they see a lot of potential with this device because it’s unique.

The study demonstrates that engineering designs are convenient means to answer elusive biological questions when biological data are nonexistent or difficult to obtain.

The study has been published in the journal Science.

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