Shape-Shifting Robot


(YouTube Link)


iRobot, the company that invented the Roomba household vacuuming robot, is developing a robot that locomotes by inflating and deflating sections of its outer skin, moving contents inside toward its destination. Kristina Grifantini writes at MIT's Technology Review:

This week at IROS 09 (Intelligent Robots and Systems), iRobot and the University of Chicago unveiled a soft, blobby robot that looks something like an inflating marshmallow.

The new robot, called chembot, changes the shape of its stretchy polymer skin using a technique called "jamming skin enabled locomotion". This means that different sections of the robot inflate or deflate separately; controlling this inflation and deflation enables the robot to move. DARPA, which is funding the project, hopes to use the robot to squeeze into small holes or under doors, which I'm guessing would be used for sophisticated surveillance.


Link via Geekologie | Company Website

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Well, I think I can quite confidently say,"KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!" The most disturbing aspect is the oddly dead flesh coloured skin they used for it...and the fact that once it starts kicking about it looks like there is a Face Hugger about to bust out. :s
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AAAaiieeee! Soon they will become sentient and the Era of the Robot Lords will begin! All hail our new and glorious leaders! (lets hope they never assimilate The Matrix)
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