Barclay Third Graders Share Bio-Inspired Designs with JHU’s Terradynamics Lab
Bio-Inspired Technologies? No problem! Barclay E/M School third graders designed Robo-Bugs as an extension to their SABES Insect Encounters unit. Their inspiration came from the innovative work at Johns Hopkins University’s Terradynamics Lab where a team of engineers are applying the features of cockroaches to the development of problem-solving robots. Dr. Chen Li led students on a virtual tour of the lab and shared his team’s work to help inspire the students’ thinking!
Using what they learned from the Terradynamics Lab, students examined features of a variety of different insects and came up with ideas for the JHU team’s consideration. Examples included Robo-Fly, inspired by the dragonfly’s wing strength, to be used to relay data from natural disasters, and Be-Bo, inspired by the whirligig beetle’s swimming ability, to be used to retrieve a floatie that drifts to the deep water. Dr. Noah Cowan, Mechanical Engineering Professor, reviewed the students’ work, commended their innovative ideas, and encouraged the students to come work for him at Johns Hopkins University one day!