X-ray videos of living salamanders in action helped Swiss scientists build Pleurobot, a robot that mimics the amphibian’s characteristic motions.
Scientists took x-ray videos of salamanders walking and swimming.
And marked the position of their bones.
They programmed Pleurobot to mimic a salamander’s march.
It’s named after the salamander species Pleurodeles waltl.
Pleurobot’s body is simpler than a salamander’s, lacking a few vertebrae and joints.
But it walks like a salamander.
And can swim underwater.
Pleurobot’s programming is modeled on how a salamander’s spinal cord controls its gait: walking, walking faster or swimming.
So this bot is not just cute…
…it might help us understand our own spines.
Executive Producer: Eliene Augenbraun
Producer: Lydia Chain
Footage of Pleurobot: EPFL, Hillary Sanctuary/EPFL
Stock Footage: Pleurodeles waltl—Getty
Special Thanks: EPFL