iRobot Wins Chembot Contract

iRobot Wins Chembot Contract

Postby Markus Waibel on 20 Jun 2008, 09:08

iRobot has been awarded a 3.3 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Army Research Office to develop a soft, pliable robot that can “maneuver through openings smaller than its actual structural dimensions” to perform reconnaissance and urban search and rescue operations. IRobot will work with MIT and Harvard researchers to develop the so-called chemical robots, which will depend on advances in chemistry, materials science, and other fields.

Some news from their press release (http://www.irobot.com/sp.cfm?pageid=86& ... referrer=2):

Consistently developing new approaches to solve warfighter challenges with robots has made us a trusted DARPA partner,” said Helen Greiner, co-founder and chairman of iRobot. “Through this program, robots that reconstitute size, shape and functionality after traversal through complex environments will transcend the pages of science fiction to become real tools for soldiers in theatre.”


Sounds impossible? I hear there are already some prototypes in labs at MIT and Harvard which will give iRobot a hand in this one ... bring on the T-1000s!
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Re: iRobot Wins Chembot Contract

Postby Marvin on 25 Jun 2008, 11:18

Sounds like just another big hype project to me.

Dont get me wrong - I'm not saying nothing interesting can come out of this.

But I'd bet my metal leg that it won't have anything to do with chemical or liquid robots as the name suggests. Even their press release talks about a "soft, flexible, mobile robot" rather than the chemical concoction the name suggests. More of a "Flex"- or "Fold"- bot than a "Chem" bot it will be I bet.

Except, of course, if you think of the explosives the robot will smuggle into buildings ... and I don't need to tell you how I feel about that.
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Re: iRobot Wins Chembot Contract

Postby Markus Waibel on 21 Oct 2009, 15:11

Finally, this week the web has been a-buzz with a morphing soft robot developed as part of the ChemBots project funded by US agency DARPA. :shock:

A new video of the palm-sized chembot explains how it can change its shape using a combination of an outer shell consisting of cells that can change their state between rigid and elastic, and an interior that is filled with an incompressible liquid as well as an inflatable air bubble. As the bubble expands, only the elastic portions of the outer shell expand, allowing the robot to roll around, jam itself into a crack or - so the researchers hope - squeeze through small holes.




More infos at IEEE Automaton.
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