While robots have thus far have been inspired by human forms, but a new trend in robotics is pushing robot design toward the shape of animals. And this isn’t just that robotic dog that was popular a few years ago; these robots will serve a functional purpose in the new world of “zoobotics.”

Humanoid robots and gadget-y autonomous machines can perform lots of tasks pretty admirably. But when you have a specific need, you need a specifically-equipped robot — which can mean making modifications to existing robot archetypes, or building a specialized ‘bot designed for a sole purpose. Welcome to the age of zoobotics, in which robots are inspired not by people, or restrained by technology like in the early days of robotics. Instead, zoobotics is animal-inspired.


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