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Sea urchins as an inspiration for robotic designs

Stiefel, K. and Barrett, G. (2018) Sea urchins as an inspiration for robotic designs. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 6 (4). 112. ISSN 2077-1312

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/jmse6040112


Neuromorphic engineering is the approach to intelligent machine design inspired by nature. Here, we outline possible robotic design principles derived from the neural and motor systems of sea urchins (Echinoida). Firstly, we review the neurobiology and locomotor systems of sea urchins, with a comparative emphasis on differences to animals with a more centralized nervous system. We discuss the functioning and enervation of the tube feet, pedicellariae, and spines, including the limited autonomy of these structures. We outline the design principles behind the sea urchin nervous system. We discuss the current approaches of adapting these principles to robotics, such as sucker-like structures inspired by tube feet and a robotic adaptation of the sea urchin jaw, as well as future directions and possible limitations to using these principles in robots.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:79763


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