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Discovery Magazine 4/1/2007


RoboLobster

Of all the amazing creatures to imitate, you might wonder why scientists would choose lobsters. We normally think of lobster as a kind of food to eat at our favorite steakhouse, and not the inspiration for some grand invention. Why would any scientist spend thousands of dollars building a 7-pound, 24-inch lobster-like robot? And why did TIME Magazine name it one of the “Coolest Inventions of 2003”?

Scientists are mimicking lobsters because the U.S. Navy is in need of a better way to hunt for deadly explosives (called “mines”) on the ocean floor. The ocean can be a very difficult place to look for mines because of the rush of waves and the difficulty of seeing clearly through the water. Now scientists have devised a new way. Actually, they have copied the ways of real lobsters.

Lobsters are excellent at moving both on land and in turbulent waters. They can “automatically” adjust their position in the rough waters of the ocean, and can effectively walk along sand and rocks, preying on starfish, sea urchins, and clams. Scientists believe that RoboLobster will be able to search for mines along the coastlines by mimicking the movement of real lobsters.

Imagine seeing RoboLobster crawling in the shallow waters off of a beach. Its eight super strong plastic legs work just right to move it in any direction. Its antennae sense obstacles to avoid or destroy. Its claws and tail stabilize it in rough waters. You would conclude that this robot is the product of intelligent design.

Now imagine seeing a real lobster scurrying along the same ocean floor. You recognize that its body is designed perfectly for the actions it performs. You observe its claws, legs, eyes, antennae, and tail. You watch how easily it moves around, automatically adjusting its body in the turbulent waters in order to stay in the right position to rest or search for food.

To what do we owe the real, living lobster? Evolutionists say it is the result of mindless time and chance. However, common sense and the Bible say otherwise. Design demands a Designer. “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).



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