This Ladder-Climbing Snake Robot is Creepy as Hell

How about a game of chutes and ladders? Uh, I mean snakes and ladders. Look, snakes are nature’s creepiest creation and robots are man’s creepiest creation. So naturally, scientists had to combine them both for maximum terror. While we’re at it, let’s make these robotic creepy crawlies climb ladders, cause you know, we wouldn’t want humans getting away.

Seriously though, a snake is a great design for robotics. They can slither in and out of small spaces to look for damage in structures or rescue someone trapped under rubble, plus they can handle all kinds of terrain. But just because we can do it, doesn’t mean we should. Because now researchers have taught robot snakes to climb ladders. There goes your second story escape plan.

Researchers from the Kyoto University and University of Electro-Communications have developed a robot snake that can bend and twist its segmented body, allowing it to slowly wrap itself around each rung as it climbs a ladder.

Good job researchers. Now, where are we going to go to escape robot snakes? I built a treehouse specifically to escape them and I just know that when I go up there next, now I’m going to find a bunch of robot snakes up there reading dirty mags, which is my job.

[via iEEE via Gizmodo]

We’re Doomed: Wall-climbing Robots Spin Giant Spiderwebs

Wall-climbing robots have been around for a while, but wall-climbing robots that can actually spin spiderwebs? Did I mention they were made of carbon fiber? Yeah, that exists now. We’re all going to wind up suspended from some cave ceiling in cocoons. Great.

wall_climbing_spider_robots_1zoom in

This project from the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design called the “Mobile Robotic Fabrication System for Filament Structures” is just a fancy way of saying “spider robot that spins webs.” It was created by grad student Maria Yablonina. Her robots work in tandem to weave carbon fiber filaments into Spirograph-like forms.

Two robots pass carbon fiber threads back and forth to create the pattern, then attach it to wall anchors. The web-like structures can be built on up to four walls just by adding more robots. The robots use powerful vacuum fans to stick to the walls. The idea is that they can create unique architectural elements. Think of it as taking string art to the next level.

[via Techcrunch via Engadget]

The brain hacks that make climbing in VR feel real

When I talk to friends and family about VR, their most pressing questions are usually about immersion. Once they've finished asking about the possibility of vomiting, the conversation turns to: "And how real does it feel?" "Do you believe you're real...

Gazing into the future


Just look at this monocular before you look into it. While it looks like Batman’s sonic screwdriver, you have to agree it’s supremely good looking.! Like a regular monocular in a tuxedo! Designed by Jonathan Cohen, the monocular may be meant for climbers and trekkers, but I could totally envision it in a superhero’s utility belt!

Designer: Jonathan Cohen






Hang Out Gecko Style!

The unique ability of geckos to scale walls and suspend from ceilings has attracted the interest of naturalists for ages. Now that modern technology has unlocked the secret behind the lizard’s perplexing mobility, synthetic materials like Geckotape and Geckskin give us humans increased mobility in a variety of scenarios like rock climbing! Stellio is one such device that utilizes these adhesive materials to supplement climbers’ safety. Attach it to a carabiner clip to help cling to near-vertical surfaces without compromising hold.

Designer: Anupreeta Agate

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(Hang Out Gecko Style! was originally posted on Yanko Design)

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The Mountain Climber’s New Best Friend

The carabiner and walking stick are a mountain climbers two best friends, so why not combine the two?! This uber-practical tool by Jingyu Lee brings the two together in a sensible, simplistic design that’s a must-have addition to any serious climber’s pack.

Designer: Jingyu Lee

Yanko Design
Timeless Designs - Explore wonderful concepts from around the world!
Shop CKIE - We are more than just concepts. See what's hot at the CKIE store by Yanko Design!
(The Mountain Climber’s New Best Friend was originally posted on Yanko Design)

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  1. Simple Safety for Mountain Climbers
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RHex Robot Can Jump, Swim, Climb Stairs: Nowhere to Run to, Nowhere to Hide

Jumping robots must really be in demand I guess. RHex uses six curved leg-scoops to propel the robot into some incredible jumps. This 15-pound machine can even hoist itself up a vertical wall that’s taller than itself.

The RHex robot has a simple yet rugged design too. It can be completely submerged in water. And those legs are perfect for swimming too. The video here also shows it hop precisely to the end of a platform so that its front legs can catch the edge and launch off for a long horizontal jump over a gap.

It’s also creepy as hell too, thanks to those legs. It’s like you are watching some oversize insect that you just want to take down before it evolves to kill you. Maybe that’s just me. I’m always thinking ahead to our eventual robopocalyptic downfall. I mean, this thing can jump, swim and climb. Where the hell can you hide from it?

[via Geek]

Robot Scales Walls with Sticky Plastic Feet

A team of researchers in Switzerland have been working on a new robot that’s able to climb vertical surfaces of all sorts using unique sticky feet. The robot can climb all sorts of surfaces including walls, rock, aluminum, and others. The developers behind the robot believe it could be used to help with mountain rescues, construction crews, or painting walls and ceilings.

wall climbing robot

The wall climbing ‘bot was developed by Liyu Wang, Lina Graber and Fumiya Iida at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich.

wall climbing robot 2

The robot is able to cling to vertical surfaces using special plastic footpads that heat rapidly causing them to melt. When the plastic melts, the compound slimes into the nooks and crannies on the surface it’s climbing allowing it to stick. The robot then uses thermoelectric effect to cool the plastic allowing the foot to release so a step can be taken. The adhesives in the plastic feet melt at about 70°C.

While sticky feet made of melting plastic may not sound particularly strong, the researchers claim that the robot can carry five times its own mass up a vertical wall.

[via New Scientist]