Shape-shifting robot shows off its moves

Here’s an interesting modular robot made up of individual cells that combine into basically arbitrary and distinctly molecular-looking shapes, except you know — each cell is about the size of a softball.

via New Scientist:

A shape-shifting robot comprised of many independently moving components has been demonstrated walking, rolling and slithering for the first time.

The prototype robot – called ATRON – demonstrated its various metamorphoses in Tokyo on Wednesday. For example, reconfiguring its many individual modules allows the robot to change its mode of locomotion on command.

“We can envision it being used to inspect hazardous environments or in space exploration where they could replace devices such as the Mars rovers,” says Henrik Hautop Lund, who leads the research project at the Maersk Institute in Denmark.

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