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


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.”

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.