Truss-Climbing Robot Can Build Structures, Take Them Apart

Cornell's climbing robot can assemble and disassemble truss structures as it goes

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Evan Ackerman is IEEE Spectrum’s robotics editor.

Truss-Climbing Robot Can Build Structures, Take Them Apart

Next time you need a new house, Cornell's Creative Machines Lab is betting that robots might have a hand (or lack of hands) in helping you build it. Like other climbing bots we've seen before, their "autonomous truss-structure modifying robot" is capable of clambering around three-dimensional structures, but with a twist: The robot can add and remove bits and pieces as it goes.

This is one of those things where the vid more or less explains it all, although I'm a little bit curious whether the robot is smart enough to know not to disassemble a structural component that's keeping it from plummeting to its own death. The video description suggests that at some point, the robot (and a bunch of its friends) might be controlled by a system that would allow them to build (and reconfigure) structures that would otherwise be too expensive or dangerous for humans to put together, but until that happens, we can at least admire the clever combinations of 3D printed bidirectional gearing that lets this little guy do what he does.

Via [ Cornell Creative Machines Lab ]

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