Elements
S1 E12

How Did Roboticists Get This Ancient Fossil To Walk?

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 for “OroBOT” 

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

MORE VIDEOS