ASU Robotics turns to nature for inspiration

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ASU Robotics students have developed a robot that mimics a sea turtle. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) ASU Robotics students have developed a robot that mimics a sea turtle. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The team wanted to come up with the best solution on how to travel over sand. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The team wanted to come up with the best solution on how to travel over sand. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
They created "C-TURTLE." (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) They created "C-TURTLE." (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Early on, they found it could be a low-cost robot that can navigate and find land mines. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Early on, they found it could be a low-cost robot that can navigate and find land mines. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

ASU Robotics students have developed a robot that mimics a sea turtle as part of a research project looking at ways to integrate computer science, biology and engineering.

The team wanted to come up with the best solution on how to travel over sand. The students settled on a sea turtle as a great option.  

"They're stable, they never flip over unless something actually knocks them over," ASU student Andrew Jansen said. 

Working with the idea to replicate how a turtle moves, the team put together a robot in just a few months.

They created "C-TURTLE." The design is simple yet very cool to the untrained eye. The team also gave it a brain so it could learn how to navigate terrain on its own.  

"You can think of it almost as trial and error where the robot would try different sorts of movements and determine how far have I gone," ASU student Joseph Campbell said. 

The team looked at what kind of applications this type of robot can be used for.  Early on, they found it could be a low-cost robot that can navigate and find land mines. Imagine an army of turtle robots that only cost around 70 to 80 bucks and help clear minefields and save lives. 

The ASU Robotics team will present their project and findings this summer at MIT and Stanford.

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