Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Spider Bot Walks on Walls

Tiny Bot Walks on Walls
By Tracy Staedter, Discovery News

Aug. 5, 2005— A robot inspired by cockroaches and spiders is getting some researchers to look up and take notice.

The Spinybot, developed by professor Mark Cutkosky and his students at Stanford University in California, takes its cue from nature and employs tiny spines on its toes to scale walls made of concrete, stucco and brick.

"It's a direct biological inspiration adapted to robotic technology," said Cutkosky.

The 400-gram Spinybot can ascend such material because each of its six toes has 10 pairs of tiny steel spines that work together to grip the microscopic peaks and ridges on the surface of concrete, stucco and brick.

A tail, which rests slightly against the wall, provides extra support and balance should a foot be unable to grip properly, and it keeps the Spinybot's body from rocking side-to-side too much while climbing.
The Spinybot is capable of carrying a 400-gram payload, and a video camera mounted to its hind section captures the robot reaching its vertical limits.

Discovery Channel :: News :: Tiny Bot Walks on Walls


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