Robosnail

Our little boy started crawling, neither much nor fast, but he moves. Not forward, but backwards. Quite strange I thought; we all have times where we have to go few steps back in order to make a big step forward. He, however, moves only backwards. I am not sure if this a normal development, but which infant is normal for his parents if he or she is the first.
This reminded me on a talk given by Prof. Hosoi at last years APS DFD meeting in Florida. Where they used the locomotion of a snail to build a robosnail, whose locomotion properties are mainly controlled by the rheology of the secretion in between the snail and the ground. The funny thing was that they were able to show theoretically and experimentally that the robosnail can move backwards if the non-Newtonian fluid is altered.

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