New App Allows Users to Design an “Underwater Rescue Robot” Inspired by Marine Animals

LOS ANGELES (January 19, 2012)—Iridescent, a science education non-profit, released a new mobile application (app) this week that allows iPad users to learn about marine animals and build an “underwater rescue robot” based on what they learned about underwater adaptations.

The Biobots Under Sea Rescue app teaches users how the platypus, whale, pike, mussel, and squid have developed amazing, divergent adaptations that enable them to survive in different underwater environments. Users learn about variations in propulsion, such as the powerful tail of the whale and the jet propulsion of the squid; defense systems, such as the mussel’s hard shell and the pike’s camouflage; sensory mechanisms, such as the chemoreceptors in the Pike, the electrical sensors in the Platypus’ bill and the squid’s giant eyes.

The app is not just filled with rich educational content; it is also an “underwater adventure.” Users take what they learned and proceed to the “Builder” where they can build an underwater rescue robot inspired by marine animal adaptations. Once built, users proceed to the “Navigator” where they can test their design as they navigate predators and natural obstacles, maintain energy and oxygen sources, and rescue the submarine. Three levels of difficulty and an array of possible robot designs keeps the game interesting.

“Apps are a wonderful, no-mess way in which children can practice engineering, rapid prototyping and tinkering. The Biobots app is a great example of the tinkering possibilities of the virtual world”, says Tara Chklovski, Founder and CEO of Iridescent (one of the co-developers of this app).

Biobots was released on iTunes on January 17 and is featured on iTunes’ “new and noteworthy” list for education apps. The app can be purchased here for $2.99.

The app was inspired by John Kelly’s amazing illustrations of animals in The Robot Zoo. It was collaboratively developed by Iridescent and Night and Day Studios.

Iridescent is a non-profit organization that helps engineers, scientists and high-tech professionals communicate their expertise and passion to children and their families through exciting, hands-on science programs. The organization has programs in Los Angeles, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area and has created unique science learning tools, including a book, videos and phone apps. They are currently developing an interactive website through which children can learn about science and engineering topics and earn badges for submitting their own experiments and designs.

For more information please contact Tara Chklovski at 310-309-0766 or [email protected]