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DEEP SEA DIGGERS

Engineers modeled this space-exploring robot after a sea urchin’s mouth

Jacob Templin
By Jacob Templin

Executive Producer

This article is more than 2 years old.

To build a robot that could explore deep space, engineers at the University of San Diego, California took inspiration from the depths of the sea.

The team at Jacobs School of Engineering set out to design a digging device that could assist the main rover to collect samples on Mars. They collaborated with a group of marine biologists and modeled it after the mouth of a sea urchin, which despite being the size of a nickel, can cut through some of the sea’s toughest rocks and sediments.

Watch the video above to see a 3D-printed version of the bio-inspired robot arm in action.

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