Roboroach and Company

Cockroaches and lobsters inspire robots that navigate in darkness and track smells.

By Sarah Webb, 00:00 AM August 29, 2005

When you see a cockroach scurry across the floor or a lobster crawl over sand in an aquarium tank, you probably don't think of robots.

A cockroach.

A cockroach.

CDC, Public Health Information Library

Robots are machines. People build and program them to assemble cars, vacuum floors, or do other tasks. Some venture into dangerous places, such as volcanoes and minefields, where people can't go safely. Others guard warehouses or simply serve as pets.

Many robots have sensors to detect what's happening a...

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