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Current issue

ELEKTRO 12/2016 was released on December 7th 2016. Its digital version will be available on January 6th 2017.

 

Topic: Measurement, measuring devices and measurement engineering; Testing and diagnostics

 

Main Article

Lithium traction batteries for electric mobility (final part 2)

SVĚTLO (Light) 6/2016 was released on December 5th 2016. Its digital version will be available on January 5th 2017.

Interiors lighting
Colloquium Interiors 2016 – the fifth anniversary
Cooperation of indoor interior and lighting 

Standards, regulations and recommendations
New standards for road lighting

A new robot mimics vertebrate motion

04.07.2016 | EPFL | actu.epfl.ch

EPFL scientists have invented a new robot that mimics the gait of a salamander with unprecedented detail. The robot features 3D-printed bones, motorized joints and electronic circuitry as its “nervous system”. Inspired by the salamander species Pleurodeles waltl, “Pleurobot” can walk, crawl, and even swim underwater.

Auke Ijspeert and his team at EPFL’s Biorobotics Laboratory have built salamander robots before, but this is the first time that they have built a robot that is accurately based on the 3D motion of the animal’s skeleton. The scientists used x-ray videos of a salamander from the top and the side, tracking up to 64 points along its skeleton while it performed different types of motion in water and on the ground.

New robot mimics salamander movement

The researchers designed Pleurobot with fewer bones and joints than the real-life creature. The robot features only 27 motors and 11 segments along its spine, while the amphibian has 40 vertebrae and multiple joints, some of which can even rotate freely and move side-to-side or up and down.

Ijspeert believes that understanding the fundamentals of this interplay between the spinal cord and the body's locomotion will help with the development of future therapies and neuroprosthetic devices for paraplegic patients and amputees. He also thinks that the design methodology used for the Pleurobot can help develop other types of “biorobots”, which will become important tools in neuroscience and biomechanics.

Read more at EPFL

Image Credit: EPFL

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