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Parasitic Robot System For Turtle's Waypoint Navigation

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Barnacles, mollusks, polychaetes, amphipods, and algae living on the shell of a sea turtle

Researchers in Korea have developed a parasitic robot system mimics the natural relationship between parasites and hosts.


Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a parasitic robot system, a hybrid animal-robot interaction that mimics the natural relationship between parasites and hosts.

As part of the new system, the robot is attached to its host animal in a similar way to an actual parasite, and it interacts with the host through specialized devices and algorithms.

The KAIST researchers chose a turtle as their first host animal and designed a parasitic robot that performs "stimulus-response training" on the reptile. The robot, which is attached to the turtle, can induce the turtle's object-tracking behavior through repeated training sessions. The robot then guides the turtle using light-emitting diodes and feeds it snacks as a reward for going in the right direction via a programmed algorithm.

The researchers believe this hybrid animal-robot interaction system could lead to an alternative solution to the limitations of conventional robotic systems in some fields.

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