Abnormal Animals

Topics: Motion capture Pages: 31 (7427 words) Published: April 28, 2013
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Flexible robot can camouflage itself like a chameleon in just 30 seconds -------------------------------------------------
Aug. 20, 2012 (7:00 pm) By: Laura Varley In: Geek-Cetera, News -------------------------------------------------
Nature seems to be the best inspiration for researchers at Harvard. They’re working on a robot forDARPA, specifically a soft, flexible robot that can blend into its surrounding environment. -------------------------------------------------

It may not be as fast as a chameleon but the octopus-like robot can change from one color to the next within seconds, leaving it virtually invisible to the naked eye. Microfluid networks run through the thin silicone sheets of the robot so an ink-like substance made up of dyes, chemiluminescent, fluorescent solutions, and water can be pumped through the robots veins the make it change color. -------------------------------------------------

The robot is connected to a network of wires, these are attached to a control system which pumps pressurized liquids and gases into the robot. Not only does that mean the robot changes color in 30 seconds or less, it also means it can be soft, small, and light because it’s power source and pump are handle externally. -------------------------------------------------

This project has been in development for just over a year and takes direct inspiration from soft organisms such as octopi. Not only would this robot be good at hide and seek, the researchers say it could be filled with glow in the dark fluid and be used by rescue teams to light the way to find trapped people. The video above demonstrates just how fast the robot is at changing it’s pattern and it’s accuracy is pretty incredible. Perhaps we are one step closer to having an Octocamo suit like Snake has in Metal Gear Solid 4… we can only dream. -------------------------------------------------

More at DesignBoom, via Stuff
1 Comment   |  Tags: camouflage, chameleon, darpa, harvard university, robot * -------------------------------------------------
New spider species discovered with claws on its legs
Aug. 20, 2012 (11:00 am) By: Matthew Humphries In: Geek-Cetera, News -------------------------------------------------

With Google slowly but surely mapping the world in ever greater detail, it seems unlikely there’s anywhere left above water on Earth that we don’t know about or can’t at least view satellite pictures of. But that doesn’t mean we can’t discover new creatures in some of the more secluded areas of the world, and that’s exactly what has happened in the Pacific Northwest region of the US. -------------------------------------------------

A new species of spider called Trogloraptor marchingtoni has been discovered living in caves in southwestern Oregon. Being the only species in the Trogloraptoridae family, Trogloraptor is unusual and unique in a couple of ways, most noticeably because it has a claw on the end of each leg. Researchers also discovered the spider has a very primitive respiratory system. -------------------------------------------------

At up to 7.6cm long with legs outstretched, the Trogloraptor is about twice as large as the spider it resembles the most (brown recluse), but has been confirmed as a brand new species thought to have appeared around 130 million years ago. -------------------------------------------------

The name Trogloraptor actually means cave robber, which is a fitting title. This spider is quite nervous and does not like the light very much. It is thought the claws on its legs are used to grab prey that happens to pass below the spider as it hangs in wait in a dark cave...
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