I have been quite busy lately and with not much time to write in the blog. I needed a good excuse, a very good one, to get me out of the blogging procrastination and into posting something. Then, earlier today, I got the ACM TechNews mailing list message and I saw this:

Finally, a Robot Chimp that Turns into a Tank

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Not only that, but look closely at CHIMP’s “foot” treads and yep — that’s a second pair of hands jutting from its robotic heels, sporting two fingers and an opposable thumb. Creepy and cool! CHIMP’s drive joints allow it to grasp objects like a human, and the team says this extends their application to “mobile manipulation and manufacturing.”

Why tank-style treads? Because building bipedal humanoid robots capable of navigating complex environments while maintaining their balance is incredibly difficult (not that developing a four-handed robot that can roll like a tank isn’t). The research team thus claims CHIMP “avoids many dynamic stability problems of humanoid robots.”

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So cool. With my devotion for robots and gadgets, plus the fact that it turns into a “sort of tank”, I needed to post this. You never know, it could be the first step into building a big Power Rangers-type robot built of robot-animals like this robot-chimp.
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