A new soft bot mimics octopuses and inchworms to climb walls | Science News

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A new soft bot mimics octopuses and inchworms to climb walls

This skill could come in handy for surveillance or building inspections

By
12:35pm, April 9, 2018
soft robot

FREE CLIMBING  A new soft robot (right) looks like an inchworm and is equipped with two octopus-like suckers to help it climb vertically.

PHOENIX — Soft robots really get around. Some jump, others swim or crawl on the ground (SN Online: 12/13/16). Now, one can even scale walls.

Inspired by an octopus’s suckers, researchers have constructed an inchwormlike robot that uses a pair of suction cups to scoot around vertical surfaces. The bot can clamber across rough and smooth terrain, aboveground and underwater, carrying up to five times its own weight.

This kind of free-climbing machine, described April 3 at the Materials Research Society spring meeting, could one day help conduct surveillance or inspect buildings

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