robot salamander - taking life out of the water

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European scientists have created a robotic salamander, named Salamandra robotica, to demonstrate how life may have made the transition from an aquatic environment to a terrestrial one. Because salamanders have the ability to undulate their tail to swim but also to crawl on land, they are considered an evolutionary key for the movement of life from sea to land. The robot mimics these nerves in electrical circuitry and demonstrates that by increasing the electrical current that movement changes from a four-legged crawl to an undulating swimming motion. Essentially, the scientists theorize that this small change in the increase of electrial current, not an entirely new neural network, is what it took to move life onto land.

cNET has produced a video of the robotic salamander:

Video: Robotic animal thrives on land, in sea

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