A robot ‘spider’ has been developed in Australia to scan a cave declared as a UNESCO heritage site in 3D (PHOTO)

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November 8, 2021 02:05 GMT

The design is inspired by nature and uses “legs” to avoid damaging the terrain and crossing uneven surfaces, its creators claimed.

Students from the University of Adelaide (Australia) have developed a robot “spider” that will allow them to complete a 3D survey of the Narakorti Caves in southeastern Australia that have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The CaveX project came to light after a doctoral student, Craig Williams, found it difficult to complete the 3D model of the caves because he was unable to collect enough data with an old scanner. At that moment he approached the engineering department. “We were looking forward to our honors project and put together a team of like-minded people who we thought would do well and united our five members into the CaveX project,” team member Matthew King was quoted as saying by local media. . ABC.

“Nature-inspired” design

The team began work this year and went through a selection process of 15 models before selecting the current one. According to Hayden Lee, another member, several ideas came up but had to be eliminated because they meant potential damage to the site. He noted that the six-legged robot was “inspired by nature”. “The solution (to avoid possible damage) is to take the legs used by insects to move it and incorporate it into the design.”

After selecting the design and construction, the team spent a weekend in the caves to test the function of the artifact. “He was able to walk through uneven terrain with multiple steps, he was able to map out the surroundings and build that map out of multiple surveys,” Lee told me.

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Satisfied, the project theorist said, “It shows we’re getting some of those areas where I couldn’t get data.”

As for CaveX’s next steps, Williams said they are “looking at the surface of the cave to find new entrances to it which we hope will It will lead to new fossil deposits”, which will improve the scope of knowledge about the fossils found in the cave.

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