Qing Shi and colleagues at China's Beijing Institute of Technology built a rat-inspired robot that can squeeze through tight spaces, which could be used to assess disaster zones or pipelines.
The SQuRo (small-sized Quadruped Robotic Rat) can walk, crawl, and climb over objects, as well as being able to turn sharply and recover from falls.
The researchers based SQuRo's architecture, movement patterns, and degrees of freedom (DOFs) on x-rays of actual rats' joint structure.
The robot features two DOFs in each limb, as well as in its waist and head, enabling its spine to move in the flexible manner of an actual rat.
Said the Institute’s Ben Shi, “To the best of our knowledge, SQuRo is the first small-sized quadruped robot of this scale that is capable of performing five motion modes, which includes crouching-to-standing, walking, crawling, turning, and fall recovery.”
From IEEE Spectrum
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