Tubular feet on the underside of a chocolate chip sea star

Matthew McHenry and Eva Kanso

Starfish coordinate hundreds of feet to hop about – and they do it without a brain. A new understanding of how they manage this could inspire underwater exploration robots that work on the same principles.

The marine invertebrates, also known as sea stars, lift their bodies off the ground with their tiny tubular feet to move across underwater surfaces like rocks and sand. “[The feet are] almost like mini-organisms, all sort of attached to the same body – and you’ve got…

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