Astronomers Make New Discoveries About Nearest Millisecond Pulsar

Bringing a 450 million year old sea creature back to life as a robot

About the episode

Researchers have recreated a simple marine animal that lived 450 million years ago, the pleura, in the form of a robot. Small bubble, with three tentacles, but high-tech. In doing so, they are exploiting an entirely new field: paleontology.

The nature, animals and plants found there are often used as inspiration for building all kinds of devices and objects. But this usually involves looking at existing organisms. Creatures or plants that we still have around that we can study.

But this group of researchers wants to focus on mimicking animals that are no longer alive, for which they use fossils. Their focus is mainly on movement, because, they believe, if we want to understand why we and other organisms move as we do now, we have to go back to the beginning.

This makes the research, which they want to continue with other types of ancient creatures, interesting in several ways: it helps us better understand how movement arises, how it can be made very simple and how you can use that to create very simple and effective creatures. Robots that consume little energy.

Read more about the research here: A 450-million-year-old organism finds new life in Softbotics

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