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The emerging field of bio-robotics

Narrator:       This is Science Today. In the world of robotics, one emerging field is called bio-robotics, in which engineers strive to make robots that emulate or simulate living biological organisms. Mechanical engineer Sanjay Joshi of the University of California, Davis, is currently working with robotic squirrels to better understand their interaction with rattlesnakes and says in the past the field of robotics looked to the animal world for inspiration.

Joshi:             In this particular project we are building the robots to understand the animals themselves. This way, by building robots that mimic the animals in the aspects that we need them to mimic, we can conduct experiments to study the animals themselves.

Narrator:       Joshi says this is leading to a new way of training scientists in the future.

Joshi:             So that we, as engineers, understand something about biology and biologists can understand how the robotics and controls and engineers people do their research, so that we can all come together and create an experiment that returns novel results.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.