Eurekalert is carrying a Tufts University press release today describing new research into the locomotion of soft-bodied insects like caterpillars. By studying the nervous system and biomechanics of caterpillars the scientists hope to learn how to build flexible (rather than jointed) robots. Caterpiller robots could have applications such as crawling through human blood vessels and organs. As part of the project, the Trimmer Lab researchers are subjecting caterpillars to MRI scans, biomaterial testing, 3D kinematics studies, electromyography, and hydraulic measurements. They hope to have a complete, physics-based computer simulation of the locomotion by next year.