[Engadget] Climbing robot melts and cools plastic to get its footing~Reviews~Evaluation

Engadget post time: May 08, 2013 at 06:01PM

DNP Climbing robot melts and cools plastic to get its footing

We’ve seen plenty of robots scale walls over the years, from models that emit supersonic streams of air to gecko-inspired creations, but few can carry more than their own weight, much less handle rough terrain. Enter this unique Swiss-made machine, which handles both tasks with aplomb thanks to the rapid melting and cooling of its thermoplastic adhesive feet. Created by the whiz kids over at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the plastic compounds in the contraption’s tootsies melt at around 70 degrees Celsius (158 Fahrenheit), where they’re tacky enough to stick and fill surface gaps. If the bot needs to take a step forward, a thermoelectric effect kicks in to cool the plastics down, detaching the foot in the process. Repeat the motion several times and you get a tiny climbing critter that’s able to carry about six to seven times its own weight over complex surfaces, a feat that’s sure to be of actual use someday. It’s certainly more practical, though a lot less fun, than one that mixes cocktails. Go on after the break to see the little climber in action.

Filed under: ,

Comments

Source: IEEE Explore, New Scientist

Reference source: Engadget

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s