RoboClam anchor

Ships have changed dramatically over the last few thousand years, but one piece of technology - the heavy, metal anchor - has remained largely untouched. But scientists have now created a light-weight, cigarette-sized anchor that burrows itself into the sea floor, anchoring anything from small unmanned submersible to maybe even huge oil platforms.

The new anchor is based on one of nature's faster diggers, the oblong-shaped razor clam, Ensis directus.

"It turns out that clams are actually very fast diggers," said Anette "Peko" Hosoi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "One of my students, Amos Winter, actually calls the razor clams we looked at something like the Ferreri of the clam world."

Source: msnbc.msn.comAdded: 6 February 2009