Introducing… Robolobster!

Not entirely new, Robolobster has actually been in the works for some years. Is this not just the coolest/weirdest sounding technology ever? It’s a mechanical lobster that scurries along ocean floors, seeking out and detonating buried bombs.

Robolobster the mine-detecting robot

Robolobster, the mine-detecting robot

Scientists developing an underwater mine-detecting robot realised that nature had already done all the work in ‘designing’ a creature that can move easily along the seabed despite buffeting waves- the lobster! All those legs mean that it can propel itself forward even if they aren’t all touching the ground. That strong heavy tail and stabilising claws help it stay upright as the water moves around it. Thank you, evolution!

The bigger picture:

YES!!! We can learn lessons from the natural world and adapt them to robotics and solving human problems. We can save human (and animal) lives by making robots do the dangerous/ugly jobs. And from military robots we may develop technology that helps us live healthier, safer lives every day- maybe one day things like seeing eye robots for blind people.

BUT OH NO!!!! With more and more robots being used for traditionally human tasks (but without human reasoning or sympathy), are we in trouble? Will we need new laws governing these interactions? Would we want unmanned robots to be armed (Robocop-style)? If robots are being used more and more in warfare, does it mean that we are more likely to engage in conflict, because we can fight harder, putting less human soldiers at risk?

Lots of questions worth exploring, as autonomous robots are heavily researched by the military and may one day be much more commonplace even in our lives.

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