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Nature's Perfect Soldier.

Scientists at Northeastern University, in Boston, funded by the Office of Naval Research, based in Arlington, Va., have taken their cue from nature while building their latest robot. Biologically derived design principles are the basis of a new discipline called biomimetrics, mimicking nature. Their most recent project was the scorpion. This creature can withstand searing heat, doesn't eat much, moves omni-directionally, climbs with ease and alacrity over hills and rocks and prickly things and defends itself in no uncertain terms. In other words, it is the perfect soldier, especially if it could look like a scorpion, which would add stealth.

The robot developed at Northeastern does not look exactly like a scorpion, but it is beginning to act more like one. It has a low-level behavior repertoire, with control ideas based on neurobiological studies of invertebrates, which allows it to perform some simple autonomous tasks. In the summer of 2002, the Scorpion should be ready for a test run in the Mojave desert. Under solar power, it is supposed to make its way 25 miles into the desert, and then find its way back to the exact deployment location all by itself.
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Title Annotation:scorpion used as model for robotics
Author:Baker, A. Duffy
Publication:National Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2001
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