Pleurobot is an impressive shaped robot salamander and able to perfectly recreate the most common movements of this animal. It is able to crawl and swim and is designed carefully after studying a series of videos made with X-rays and allowing see the movements of the salamanders in nature.
The robot is one of the most recent creations that have seen the light at the EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne.
Real inspiration in nature
The Pleurobot robot is designed with the primary goal of recreating the actual movements of a kind of nature through technology. Specifically, EPFL scientists have set for development in the Iberian ribbed newt salamander species. This is the first robot that perfectly recreates the movement of an animal skeleton perfect way thanks to 3D printing, and to achieve this they have invested many hours of work and effort.
Beyond the technical side of programming, development of Pleurobot has required hours of video analysis with X-ray study that would allow even the smallest detail of how these salamanders move. Thanks to X-rays, scientists have seen how the various bones of the animal is moved to achieve the desired movement in the body.
The result is an impressive robot that effectively moves like a real salamander. It is not only able to crawl, but also swimming, and physical appearance is truly amazing.
Pleurobot is composed of a series of print 3D bones and controlled by an electronic circuit that operates almost as a central nervous system, capable of issuing the necessary signals in each part the robot body to achieve the desired movement. The device is less than a salamander vertebrae in nature, but are arranged such that optimize performance and achieve the most natural and realistic movement.
Towards understanding of body movements
EPFL scientists aim with this creation a big step in the study of locomotion in animals. With these advances in biorobotics, not only achieved a better understanding of the movements of the bones, but new avenues of study are also open to discuss the importance of nerve signals that stimulate the body to achieve these movements.
In the long run, this could allow the construction of “neuroprótesis” to treat problems of partial or total paralysis or paraplegia in the human body, able to send the correct nerve impulses in the area of the spine to allow movement.
In fact, when studying the movements of the salamander, it has been found that the difference between the movements of crawling and swimming is based only on a question of intensity of nerve impulses. Changing the intensity of stimulation, change the type of movement.