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.
One of the things I am often glad of is that snakes can’t fly. I can’t think of anything worse than being chased by a flying snake set on biting me with its gross forked tongue and fangs. This snake-like flying DRAGON robot from the University of Tokyo looks set to fly right into my bad dreams.
The squiggly bot can change its shape to suit the obstacle it needs to transverse. It is a prototype made of linked sections each with their own pair of ducted fan motors to help it morph and fly through challenging obstacles like holes in a wall. Of course you could accomplish the same with a mich smaller and simpler drone, but where would the fun be in that?
DRAGON can fly in the formation of an L, a straight line, a square, a zig-zag depending on its needs. When it gets to its goal, it can’t shoot water or anything to put out fires like the water shooting snake bot, but it could scare the crap out of a hapless bro stuck in a building or cave.
[via iEEE Spectrum]
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