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Latest Daniel Goldman Stories

Understanding Undulatory Swimming Motions In Sandfish
2013-06-05 08:57:24

Georgia Institute of Technology What do swimmers like trout, eels and sandfish lizards have in common? According to a new study, the similar timing patterns that these animals use to contract their muscles and produce undulatory swimming motions can be explained using a simple model. Scientists have now applied the new model to understand the connection between the electrical signals and body movement in the sandfish. Most swimming creatures rely on an undulating pattern of body...

Flipperbot Helps Researchers Understand Turtle Locomotion
2013-04-24 08:33:07

Watch the video "Using Robots to Reveal Walking Secrets of Baby Sea Turtles" Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In recent years, robotics engineers have increasingly looked to nature for inspiration. Now, a trio of American scientists has developed a sea turtle-like robot to help them learn about the mechanics behind walking on sand-like surfaces. Named “Flipperbot,” the robot was described recently in the journal“¯Bioinspiration and...

New Terradynamics Technique Helps Robots Walk Through Sand
2013-03-22 20:41:39

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online "Terradynamics" could be the next big thing in robotics, helping robots move on granular and other complex surfaces like beaches. Studying the field of terradynamics involves researching and understanding how small-legged robots move on and interact with complex materials like sandy beaches. The team who coined the name terradynamics wrote about their achievements in the field in the journal Science. "We now have the tools to...

Sandfish Lizard Inspires Robotics
2012-03-21 04:25:17

[ Watch the Video ] In less than a second, a sandfish lizard can dig its way into the sand and disappear. Blink and you miss it. The sandfish's slithering moves are inspiring new robotic moves that could one day help search-and-rescue crews find survivors in piles of rubble left from disasters like Hurricane Katrina. "The sandfish is a little lizard that lives in the Sahara Desert," says Daniel Goldman, a physicist at Georgia Tech. Goldman is an assistant professor specializing in the...

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2011-05-10 09:14:34

Search and rescue missions have followed each of the devastating earthquakes that hit Haiti, New Zealand and Japan during the past 18 months. Machines able to navigate through complex dirt and rubble environments could have helped rescuers after these natural disasters, but building such machines is challenging. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology recently built a robot that can penetrate and "swim" through granular material. In a new study, they show that varying the shape or...

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2010-02-25 10:00:00

Life can be scary for endangered loggerhead sea turtles immediately after they hatch. After climbing out of their underground nest, the baby turtles must quickly traverse a variety of terrains for several hundred feet to reach the ocean. While these turtles' limbs are adapted for a life at sea, their flippers enable excellent mobility over dune grass, rigid obstacles and sand of varying compaction and moisture content. A new field study conducted by researchers at the Georgia Institute of...

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2009-07-16 15:10:00

A study published in the July 17 issue of the journal Science details how sandfish -- small lizards with smooth scales -- move rapidly underground through desert sand. In this first thorough examination of subsurface sandfish locomotion, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology found that the animals place their limbs against their sides and create a wave motion with their bodies to propel themselves through granular media. "When started above the surface, the animals dive into...

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2009-02-10 10:28:36

Today's advanced mobile robots explore complex terrains across the globe and even on Mars, but have difficulty traversing sand and other granular media like dirt, rubble or slippery piles of leaves. A new study published February 10 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences takes what may be the first detailed look at the problem of robot locomotion on granular surfaces. Among the study's recommendations: robots attempting to move across sandy terrain should move their...