Snake-like robo discovers how lizards swim through the sand

February 25th, 2011 - 11:22 am ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 25 (ANI): Scientists have successfully found how lizards manage to swim their way through desert sands.

Using a snake-like robot, the researchers at the Georgia Institute Of Technology in the U.S. mimicked the motion the sandfish lizard, a North African reptile, used to propel itself forward.

The find could ultimately lead to better earthquake monitoring, sub-surface discoveries on other planets or even advancement in robotics or space exploration.

Using cameras, the team found that the way the lizards moved their bodies resembled a sine wave, or smooth repeated oscillation. They then replicated its motion in a robotic copy and their computer model.

“We’ve never had such a detailed, quantitative, accurate model of an organism moving through an environment that isn’t water or air. You can make devices that can sort of wiggle into or through granular materials. We’re already talking to Nasa about it,” the Daily Mail quoted Professor Daniel Goldman as saying.

He added the model allowed his team to “generate hypotheses about what is going on internally in the lizard that allows it to swim. We can go in and get the physiology of organism and use it to do something useful.”

The research was published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. (ANI)

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