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EPFL in the Depths of London's Robot Jungle

Pleurobot, a distant relative of the species Pleurodeles waltl. © EPFL / Hillary Sanctuary

Pleurobot, a distant relative of the species Pleurodeles waltl. © EPFL / Hillary Sanctuary

Robotic cheetah cubs and salamanders have ventured from Lausanne into the depths of London's robot jungle, at the Science Museum, in a Robot Safari that just opened and runs until Sunday.

This week-end, visitors of the London Science Museum can trek through the un-natural habitats of robots inspired by nature, interacting with creatures that swim, flap, and crawl, in a unique safari experience. “Visitors to this exhibition called Robot Safari EU will see not just how nature can inspire innovative robotic designs, but also how these biomimetic robots are actually advancing our understanding of the animals and plants they mimic,” explains Nicola Burghall, Content Developer for Robot SafariEU. “We’re very excited to be able to showcase some of the latest European biomimetic robotics research here at the Science Museum.”

EPFL roboticists at the Biorob laboratory designed some of the models presented at the Safari, namely the Cheetah-cub and a family of salamanders. These electronic creatures are used to study the nervous system, and in the long-run, to help develop therapies for spinal cord injuries and better prostheses for amputees. The EPFL robots are part of the Robot Safari EU thanks to the support of NCCR Robotics.

A glimpse at the exhibition... (photos: © EPFL / Hillary Sanctuary)...

Entering the robot jungle at the London Science Museum.

EPFL Roboticists Massimo Vespignani (left) and Peter Eckert (right) explaining the mechanisms of Cheetah-cub to Robot Safari EU visitors.

Surgery and repair of a robotic salamander.

EPFL roboticist Alessandro Crespi prepares Salamandra robotica II for a demo.

Members of EPFL's Biorob laboratory and their robots Pleurobot, Salamandra robotica II and Cheetah-cub, at the London Science Museum's Robot Safari EU. (From left to right:) Auke Ijspeert, Massimo Vespignani, Robin Thandiackal, Peter Ecker, Kostas Karakasiliotis and Alessandro Crespi.

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