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  • Thanks to the latest technology in 'paleo-biorobotics', this nearly three hundred million-year-old

  • fossil is WALKING.

  • This little guy is the result of years of advancements in CT scanning and is changing

  • the way we study ancient animals.

  • It's now evolving our perspective on how they walked and even breathed.

  • Early tomography machines were invented to look inside your body, and with the creation

  • of computational techniques, they have the ability to digitally reconstruct the inside

  • of living, and fossilized structures without invasive measures.

  • But don't go running inside a paleontologist's CT machine, it's slightly different.

  • They use micro-CT scanning which sends higher doses of X-rays that can penetrate rock and

  • give finer detail to specimens.

  • This added precision helps for scanning fossils like the one used forOroBOT”.

  • The original fossil for this invention is the Orobates pabsti, first described in 2004,

  • and thought to have roamed the earth before the dinosaurs.

  • This species is suspected to be a close cousin of the last common ancestor of dinosaurs,

  • reptiles, birds, and mammals.

  • It's also considered a stem amniote, an evolutionary link from amphibians that reproduce

  • in water, to land vertebrates who lay eggs.

  • What makes it even more special, is that it's one of the oldest known vertebrates with a

  • fully preserved skeleton, AND..wait for it, footprints to match!

  • By studying Orobates, we'd have a greater understanding of how mammals, like us, evolved.

  • Obviously, a fossil like this is too good to be slept on, so scientists from Switzerland

  • and Germany teamed up to unravel the creature's locomotion.

  • They started by analyzing X-ray videos of modern animals linked to Orobates, like salamanders,

  • skinks, iguanas, and caimans.

  • Biologists observed their gait, or manner of walking, paying close attention to key

  • biomechanics such as: how erect the animal stood on its legs; how bent its backbone was;

  • and how its joints bent as it walked.

  • They then created a walking computer simulation that matched perfectly with digital footprints.

  • This simulation identified different positions where the bones did not bump or become disjointed.

  • And while this simulation was awesome, it couldn't exactly represent the physics of

  • the real world.

  • So roboticists used the digital data to create OroBOT.

  • OroBOT might look vaguely familiar if you ever saw the design of Pleurobot back in 2015.

  • It was inspired by the same mechanics but made to fit the skeletal frame of Orobates

  • instead.

  • Each limb of the robot was separated into actuated joints to give it better mobility.

  • In total, OroBOT has twenty-eight servomotors.

  • Each one is used to move its limbs and is powered by cables linked back to a computer;

  • which feeds OroBOT its positioning reference signals, or its controls.

  • Every leg forms a kinematic chain which begins at the girdle and ends at the foot.

  • But OroBOT couldn't have been built without the original micro-CT scans made in 2015.

  • And even though not every dinosaur is becoming a robot, scans like these are revealing other

  • unknown aspects of dinosaurs, like how some species breathed.

  • Ankylosaurs are known for their heavily armored exteriors.

  • Paleontologists wondered how these huge dinos stayed cool during the hot Mesozoic period

  • and original CT scans revealed they had long, coiled nasal passages.

  • At first, scientists weren't sure why, but with simulations using advanced computational

  • fluid dynamics, they simulated how the air moved within the dinos' nostrils.

  • Simulations revealed there was a significant heat exchange system within the canals.

  • CT scans showed hot blood vessels ran along the nasal passages, losing heat to the air

  • as it traveled through.

  • And simultaneously, evaporation of moisture in the passages cooled down veins which carried

  • blood to the brain to keep it from overheating.

  • They basically had a 'built-in air conditioner.'

  • cool.The more you know.

  • So I hope you love CT scanning more than you ever did before because it's practically

  • the foundation for all this innovative research.

  • The team from OroBOT says the research in this field doesn't end here either.

  • They hint that there is potential to build on what they have, with research considering

  • muscles or softer tissue.

  • You can even check out their open source data online, and play and analyze on your own.

  • So while we're not walking around with cloned dinosaurs, maybe we can walk around with robotic

  • ones.

  • Maybe.

  • Let's not get our hopes up.

  • OroBOT wasn't built in a day, the team has been working on this project for the last

  • 8 years!

  • I can only imagine what we'll get if we give 'em another decade.

  • Don't forget to subscribe for more dino news and check out this video on how much

  • we're still learning about Neanderthals.

  • We'll see you next time and thanks for watching Seeker.

Thanks to the latest technology in 'paleo-biorobotics', this nearly three hundred million-year-old

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機器人學家是如何讓這塊遠古化石行走的? (How Did Roboticists Get This Ancient Fossil To Walk?)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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