Sure, we've seen plenty of robot snakes
in the past, but none like this robot earthworm being developed at Chuo University in Japan
. The same research department that showed us the incredible Strider
bot, is now demonstrating a machine that can move on open land and along narrow passageways, using the same method of peristalsis as the average night crawler. Each section of the body expands and contracts in a specific order, thus enabling the rubber-gripped bot to move inside of a tube with almost no lateral motion, even when crawling straight up.
We can see how this technology, which NASA is also working on, could be used in fields like geology, robofishing
and medicine, even though watching the videos on the site and seeing the word "catheter" in the article made us more than a little uneasy.