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 otherclimbing 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 ]
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.