Sandfish Lizard Slithers Into Science Spotlight

In less than a second a sandfish lizard can dig its way into the sand and disappear. Blink and you miss it. The sandfish's slithering moves are inspiring new robotic moves that could one day help search and rescue crews find survivors in piles of rubble left from disasters like Hurricane Katrina. With support from the National Science Foundation, physicist Daniel Goldman and his team at Georgia Tech are studying the lizard’s movements, using x-rays to track it underground. They've also developed a robot to mimic sandfish locomotion so they can study the way it moves in more precise detail. Their findings will contribute to engineering designs for deployable robots that could one day help canine search and rescue teams find survivors more quickly.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

Runtime: 2:32

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