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Robot based on cartwheeling caterpillars

GoQBot built for speed

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7:15pm, April 26, 2011

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Inspired by a caterpillar that makes like a wheel and rolls away from predators, researchers have created a robot that curls itself into a loop and peels out at speeds faster than a half meter per second.

Called GoQBot, the 10-centimeter-long robot has a hammer-shaped head and a silicone body embedded with metal coils. The coils contract, musclelike, when pulsed with current, and within 200 milliseconds the crawling bot becomes a wheel and rolls off at impressively high speeds.

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