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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse6040112

Sea Urchins as an Inspiration for Robotic Designs

1
Neurolinx Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92039, USA
2
Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Dilliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
3
People and the Sea, Malapascua, Daanbantayan, Cebu 6000, Philippines
4
School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6UR, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 August 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Biology)
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Abstract

Neuromorphic engineering is the approach to intelligent machine design inspired by nature. Here, we outline possible robotic design principles derived from the neural and motor systems of sea urchins (Echinoida). Firstly, we review the neurobiology and locomotor systems of sea urchins, with a comparative emphasis on differences to animals with a more centralized nervous system. We discuss the functioning and enervation of the tube feet, pedicellariae, and spines, including the limited autonomy of these structures. We outline the design principles behind the sea urchin nervous system. We discuss the current approaches of adapting these principles to robotics, such as sucker-like structures inspired by tube feet and a robotic adaptation of the sea urchin jaw, as well as future directions and possible limitations to using these principles in robots. View Full-Text
Keywords: bionic engineering; bioinspired robots; neuromorphic systems; neuromorphic engineering; echinoderm; sea urchin; robotics; distributed control bionic engineering; bioinspired robots; neuromorphic systems; neuromorphic engineering; echinoderm; sea urchin; robotics; distributed control
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Stiefel, K.M.; Barrett, G.A. Sea Urchins as an Inspiration for Robotic Designs. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6, 112.

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