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Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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Serpentine Robots Inch Ahead
25 March 2005 (All day)
Snakelike robots could one day be slithering around waste disposal sites to check for leaking drums, or inching through building wreckage with a camera and microphone to probe for survivors.
The prototype pictured, dubbed OmniTread, was built over the past few years by roboticist Johann Borenstein of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his colleagues. The 1.2-meter-long machine crawls with treads that cover 80% of its surface and flexes powerfully, thanks to four pneumatic joints. In the March issue of Industrial Robot, the team describes the results of tests on various terrains. OmniTread can pass through or around obstructions that most other robots cannot, says Borenstein.
OmniTread "climbs stairs pretty well; it crosses gaps pretty well," says Wendell Sykes of Context Systems in Carlisle, Massachusetts, who consults on robotics for government agencies. Borenstein is "probably about a year ahead of everyone else."
The Michigan researchers are now working on a smaller-diameter version of OmniTread that will hold enough batteries and compressed gas to operate untethered for up to an hour.