Robotic Mussels Track Rising Temperatures for Climate Research
(Click to enlarge) Mussels and barnacles in the intertidal zone (Credit: Mark A. Wilson, Wilson44691 / wikimedia)
If you were to stare down into one of a few dozen intertidal pools at low tide, as waves glide in and out, you might have a hard time spotting the robots.
That’s because they look just like the real mussels that surround them.
“It’s a problem finding them again,” said Brian Helmuth, a professor of marine science and public policy at Northeastern University, “because they do look so much like mussels.”
(From The New York Times / by Tatiana Schlossberg)– The robotic mussels, which were devised about 18 years ago by Dr. Helmuth, contain little thermometers and data loggers that record the temperature every 10 minutes, approximating the internal temperature of the actual mussels nearby.
Dr. Helmuth describes these mussels as an example of “biomimicry,” a relatively new field of science that uses natural processes, structures and strategies to deal with human problems. Read the full story »