When You Drop a Squishy Robot 600 Feet from a Helicopter…

Engineers from UC Berkeley and Squishy Robotics have developed all-shaped robots that are capable of falling more than 600 feet without any damage. The robots are built of a network of rods linked by contracting cables and can also shapeshift in order to crawl from one point to another.

The engineers believe that by equipping the robots with sensors and dropping them into disaster zones first responders could gain critical information about conditions on the ground.

The team initially began designing these “tensegrity” robots in collaboration with NASA Ames, in hopes of creating a robot that could safely fall from space to explore Saturn’s moon, Titan.

However, they realized the robots might be even more useful in other applications.

The team is currently collaborating with the Los Angeles County and the Houston fire departments to beta test the robots in disaster scenarios. The researchers unveiled the robots last week at the Techcrunch Robotics and AI Sessions held at UC Berkeley.

Story via UC Berkeley

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