Last year Darpa unveiled a robo-blob that was able to roll, now using the same technology they have a chembot who is able to walk.
According to our source, this creepy little robot that looks kind of like a head-crap from Half-Life is the latest in the evolution of a line of robots being produced by Darpa in conjunction with iRobot called “chembots”. The first models were little more than blobs with wires, but now we’ve got ones that are able to walk on six legs.
The chembots are part of a project with the goal of designing robots with soft, malleable bodies that are able to access areas normally restricted to humans and even other small maintenance robots. Check out the video below to get a brief glimpse at what one of these things would look like when walking.
In their designs, the team was inspired by the movement of “octopi and insects”. These chembots are envisioned to be able to slide under doors, squeeze into vents and get through any number of tight spots by compressing their bodies. Using a technique called “jamming” the robot can have its parts diffuse and then jam back together to allow itself to flatten out and then reform afterwards.
The team has field tested these robots on all sorts of terrain, ranging from hard surfaces like concrete and pavement, and more varied ones such as mud and Jell-O.