The new bot was inspired by the remora, fish that cling to larger marine animals like sharks and whales, feeding off their hosts’ dead skin and feces. “Biologists say that it represents one of the most extraordinary adaptions within the vertebrates,” said Li Wen, a robotics and biomechanics researcher at Beihang University in China and the lead author of a new paper describing the remora robot. Wen said he got the idea for a remora-inspired robot when he was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University.

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