Robot science turns to nature for inspiration

Cockroaches. Image: ULB-EPFLTo build a better robot, scientists increasingly are looking to nature, making robots that move and interact socially with cockroaches, slither like a salamander and even learn and make decisions like humans.

The new designs, reported on Thursday in the journal Science, suggest that robot science is finally catching up with science fiction.

One team of European researchers led by Jose Halloy of the University Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, created cockroach-sized robots that interacted with their living counterparts.

While they did not look like cockroaches, they were coated with chemicals to make them smell like cockroaches.

And they behaved like robots, so much so that they influenced their roach clan into making a bad choice of shelter, choosing a light shelter rather than a darker one.

Source:  Reuters

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