Turtle Bot! | God's World News
Turtle Bot!
Critter File
Posted: May 01, 2023
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    ART moves underwater easily with flippers. (Robert Baines)
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    ART can also walk on land. (Robert Baines)
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    Turtles have legs like flippers for swimming, webbed feet, and long claws. (123RF)
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    Tortoises have strong back legs to carry extra weight and short, bent front legs. (123RF)
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    Test yourself: Is this baby a turtle or a tortoise? (123RF)
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Do you know your tortoises from your turtles? This robot might help.

Inventors made an amphibious robot. (That means that, like amphibians, it can go both in water and on land.) They got their ideas from the Great Inventor Himself. God is the maker of the turtle and the tortoise.

Meet Amphibious Robotic Turtle, or ART for short. ART takes inspiration from both water and land turtles. Its legs can morph into flippers before it enters the water.

“We replaced the legs of this robot, which are usually made of fixed materials, with shape-morphing materials,” says Robert Baines. He is a PhD student at Yale University.

The design allows the robot to move underwater easily. ART may be able to help scientists keep track of ecosystems, moving from land to water and back.

On land, ART walks on four legs. In water, bring on the flippers!

ART may also help crack a tough puzzle: How can robots move well in waves and currents?

Turtle or Tortoise?


  • thinner, lighter shells that move well through water
  • legs like flippers for swimming
  • webbed feet, long claws
  • live in water some or all the time
  • found mostly in Africa and the Americas
  • omnivores
  • live 20 to 40 years


  • rounder, heavier shells
  • back legs like an elephant’s to carry extra weight
  • short, strong, bent front legs
  • live only on land
  • found mostly in Africa and Asia, but not all
  • mostly herbivores
  • live 80 to 150 years


  • stay partly attached to their shells all the time
  • are shy
  • can make good pets (but check your state laws about owning them!)