Spider-like robot could be used in disaster-relief operations

Researchers at Osaka University have created a spider-like robot called Asterisk that can run, cartwheel, swing, climb up stairs, walk up walls and roll cylindrical objects across the floor.

Six intelligent limbs also enable the robot to move in every direction, without altering its posture. Furthermore, it can easily return to its standard position after falling upside down.

To achieve these functions, Asterisk employs six different types of sensor.

These include: pressure sensors on the tips of each limb; infrared sensors on the tips of three limbs; a gyro sensor and an acceleration sensor on the body; wireless cameras on the tips of three limbs and three additional cameras on the body.

The robot was first displayed at the World Exposition 2005 in Aichi and has since undergone a series of modifications that could see it employed in disaster-relief operations or as a building maintenance tool.

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