University of California, San Diego roboticists designed a robot inspired by turtle hatchlings that can move through sand at a depth of 5 inches and a speed of 1.2 millimeters per second.
The Wi-Fi-controlled robot generates propulsion and can steer with its flipper-like appendages.
Force sensors enable the bot to detect impediments above its body by monitoring changes in torque produced by limb movement.
Two foil-like surfaces or terrafoils on the sides of the bot's nose allow the researchers to control lift and maintain a level depth in the sand.
Experiments in a laboratory tank and on a beach showed wet sand, which offers greater resistance than dry sand, slowed the robot’s progress.
From UC San Diego Today
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