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Beavers and bugs inspire robotic creations

Darren Murph

Rest assured, this won't be the first or last time you hear of insects and mammals being used as inspiration for robotic creatures. Nevertheless, a recent MIT mechanical engineering course saw students craft bots that could handle "beaver-like tasks" such as "knocking down trees and gathering food in the form of street hockey balls" while fending off competitors in 45-second rounds. Separately, the EU-funded SPARK endeavor is seeking to "develop a new robot control architecture for roving robots inspired by the principles governing the behavior of living systems and based on the concept of self-organization." There's plenty more material to make your skin crawl in the read links below, just don't feed the mechs, okay?

Read - SPARK project
Read - MIT competition

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