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March 8, 2024

Soft robotic replica of marine organism pleurocystitid

Mechanical engineers at Carnegie Mellon University used fossil evidence to engineer a soft robotic replica of a pleurocystitid, a marine organism that existed nearly 450 million years ago and is believed to be one of the first echinoderms capable of movement using a muscular stem. The team used a combination of 3D-printed elements and polymers to mimic the flexible columnar structure of the moving appendage to build the robot.

[Research supported by U.S. National Science Foundation grant CMMI 1946456.]

Learn more in the NSF Research News story 450 million-year-old organism finds new life in softbotics. (Date of image: 2023; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: March 8, 2024)

Credit: Carnegie Mellon University

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