Researchers at Baruch College of the City University of New York have developed a rotary actuated dodecahedron (RAD) sampler, a device for studying soft sea creatures such as jellyfish or squid in their natural habitat.
The RAD sampler uses a single motor to fold itself from a 20-inch flat star into a 12-sided structure eight inches wide. Researchers can use this device to gently hold soft sea animals temporarily for observation without harming or killing them or having to bring them to the surface.
The RAD sampler is part of a larger effort to design robots that aid in the study of the oceans. The researchers plan to add internal cameras and sensors, turning the RAD sampler into an underwater laboratory capable of scanning an animal's body for reconstruction and collecting DNA samples or physiological responses under changing environmental conditions.
From The New York Times
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