Nicole Greene Rose Hills
Robotic Model to Investigate Crab Burrowing
By understanding how physiology, behavior and the environment all contribute to animal multifunctionality, we can better understand animal motion and translate these discoveries into new technologies in the fields of robotics, prosthetics and rehabilitation. Ghost crab (ocypode quadrata) burrowing is particularly valuable for understanding multifunctional appendage design. To access burrowing data (like forces produced by the crabs legs, the effect of the crabs motion and the importance of the crabs anatomical features) and systematically vary them, I am constructing a robotic model based on actual ghost crab appendages. Robotic models and engineering methods similar to those I am employing have a long history of supporting biological research. These models not only offer new insights into animal biomechanics but can also lead to entirely new robotic technologies.