I found a couple of cool things people are doing with robotics that I wanted to get down before I forgot:
Roland Strauss is a neurobiologist who applys biological concepts to robotics in order to test theories and explore new ways for teaching robots:
Tarry II looks like a robot, sounds like a robot, and walks like an insect. He sprouts a tangle of wires, and the mechanical joints on his six legs emit a metallic creak with every step. But he strides determinedly across the lab with the steady gait of a fly marching towards rotting fruit.
It sounds like an interesting departure from more traditional pre-programmed behaviour. Definitely good to keep these experiments somewhere in the back of one’s mind…
Original Article (Nature)
A number of researchers from Case Western University and the Max-Planck-Institute built some simple robots that can climb walls using ‘microstructured polymer feet.’ The bit that I found most interesting was that scotch tape worked temporarily as an alternative:
With office tape, no tail was needed and the robot (87 grams) was able to climb reliably enough to test steering, obstacle climbing, and ceiling walking. The vehicle walked up, down, and sideways on vertical planes of glass using Scotch® tape feet. Further, the robot walked inverted all the way across the underside of a 30-cm-long horizon-
This means you could make a wall climbing robot with nothing more sophisticated then a roll of tape and some motors! Definitely worth a try.