DailyDirt: Biomimicry In Space

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Robot designs often steal from nature. Roboticists have created all kinds of insect-inspired bots and bots based on birds, lizards and mammals. It's easy to see how these robots fit into our world because animals with similar silhouettes are already everywhere. But it's not so intuitive that biomimicry should work in the low gravity environment of space. Without any alien life forms to cheat off, it looks like we're going to try to find out how some bio-inspired robots adapt to extraterrestrial locations. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

Filed Under: biomimicry, mars, moon, robots, rover, satellite, sintef, snake bot, space, spiderfab, unmanned

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  1. icon
    Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger (profile), 25 Sep 2013 @ 7:35pm

    Ah, NASA... Still on the cutting edge of decades-old concepts.

    "SpiderFab, for cryin' out loud. I think O'Neill's people dreamed up a beam extruding space station-assembling robot (similar to how custom rain gutters are fabricated onsite) back in the '70s or '80s. Seems like they even built a proof of concept prototype. Maybe NASA should check their files.

    Or read a little science fiction. As I recall, the concept showed up as "shelobs" in the Niven et al novel Falling Angels in '91-- just 22 years ago. At this rate, NASA might even come up with the idea of habitats and craft constructed of high tensile strength fabric and inflated with expanding foam (and carved out to create living and working space) in another 10-20 years. I know that idea showed up in SF in the mid '90s, and again in my own novel Net Assets a decade ago (before Bigelow's inflatable "space hotel") (Fee download - http://www.bussjaeger.org/index.html#netassets).

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