Bridge Robot Moonwalks on Magnets

A robot with permanent magnets on its feet requires some clever engineering to get moving

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Bridge inspections are integral to keeping the structures safe, but they usually require shutting down traffic. MIT graduate student Ani Mazumdar and professor Hank Asada have developed a prototype inspection robot that could monitor bridge dynamics in real time. The design team had to come up with some clever gaits for the three-legged robot, because it uses permanent magnets to stay attached to the steel structure.