Robots generally work best in controlled environments. While something may work in a lab, in a setting that isn’t too hot, too bright, or too windy, testing it out in an uncontrolled area, such as a desert, produces a whole new set of challenges.
Researchers at Arizona State University built the “C-Turtle” to tackle just that problem, traversing stone and sand using flippers designed to imitate a sea turtle.
Once unleashed, this artificially intelligent bot used its programming — running on what appears to be a Raspberry Pi Zero, a RedBear IoT pHAT and some Adafruit hardware — to learn and adapt its crawling technique to navigate different kinds of terrain.
Though quite capable, the C-Turtle was manufactured from cheap cardboard before being folded together origami-style and equipped with the electronics and motors to move the flippers. Total cost to build? $70.
In the future, the researchers believe a swarm of these bots could roam around, monitoring certain types of conditions or performing tasks like searching minefields. You can read more about C-Turtle here, and see it in action below![h/t New Scientist]
Nature-Inspired C-Turtle Robot Waddles the Desert With Ease was originally published in Hackster’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.