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Robotics

iRobot Introduces Morphing Blob Robot 177

Posted by kdawson
from the compare-to-doctor-johnson's-dog dept.
Aristos Mazer sends word of research out of iRobot on a "chembot," or morphing blob robot, that looks like dough and moves by shifting its sides from solid-like to liquid-like states. This will allow it, in theory and after lots of refinement, to pass through cracks by squeezing. iRobot calls the new technique "jamming." The research project was funded by DARPA. The video clearly shows the early stage the work is in, but when you think about it the possibilities are a little unsettling.
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iRobot Introduces Morphing Blob Robot

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  • Re:The Ball! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18, 2009 @06:22PM (#29787935)

    What do you mean "the ball"? It's hardly be an object of terror if it was called "the ball", now would it?

    It's called Rover.

  • Re:Similar projects (Score:3, Informative)

    by x2A (858210) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @09:43PM (#29789087)

    "From the article, it appears that they started doing this 5 years ago and have made significant progress"

    Research in this area has made significant progress, yes, but still a long long way to go. There will probably be milestones along the way though, where a partially successful device may have lesser uses, but uses nontheless. There are already nanostructures that 'swim' using energy (eg, sugars) in the liquid they are put in, but when I saw those, they were just dumb self propelling motors, there was no control element to it.

    "I wonder if the iRobot technology is similar?"

    I don't know about other iRobot tech, but this stuff isn't. The video [youtube.com] explains how it works.

  • Re:What I want.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @10:02PM (#29789197)
    Like this one: http://www.probotics.com/dispcat.asp?ab=18 [probotics.com]

    "The Karcher RC-3000 automatic vacuum cleaner features a battery powered, self emptying, 11" vacuuming robot and self recharging base station. ..."

    I can't find a price, but last time I saw, it was about twice the price of the Roomba.
  • Re:Finally (Score:4, Informative)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @11:25PM (#29789945) Homepage
    What, didn't you hear about the butt-bomb? Link [thaindian.com]. They damn near assassinated the head of the Saudi antiterror squad.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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