Robot Lobster Comes to Life


Dan Blustein’s creation is among the most accurate replications of a living animal ever built. His RoboLobster looks like a lobster, walks like a lobster, senses its environment like a lobster, and tastes… Nothing like a lobster, presumably. This mechanical ocean crawler will allow the Marine Science Center to autonomously explore the sea floor, increasing our understanding of marine ecosystems.

Dan conducts this work at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center’s Biomimetic Underwater Robot Lab, home to a vibrant community of scientists and engineers focused on using machinery and electronic nervous systems to mimic the behavior of real marine animals. In addition to RoboLobster, the team has collaborated on robotic copies of lampreys and bees. With the support and expertise of this team of researchers, Dan’s latest RoboLobster prototype has

Outside the lab, Dan is working to get kids excited about robotics. He has developed a school curriculum in which K-12 students use his custom-designed Lego robotics software to learn about engineering and programming. He is currently putting this plan into practice at Cambridge’s Buckingham Browne and Nichols School, where he is activity leader for the school’s science club.

Dan is the winner of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship and the Marine Technology Society’s Graduate Student Scholarship.