Snails with benefits? Our salt shaker might disagree. But some enterprising engineers over at Japan's Chuo University managed to turn this garden-variety pest into fodder for mechatronic inspiration. Based on the gastropod's preferred method of 'galloping' -- wherein waves of foot-to-head muscle contractions propel it forward -- researchers at the Mechatronics Lab created TORo II, an omnidirectional robot that could make its way to a hospital near you. Why's that? Well, the bot's large gripped surface area makes it ideal for narrow, slippery environments -- so it won't budge if knocked into (though you might wind up on the emergency room floor). Although the unique movement technique has been used to create other mecha-mollusks in the past, the team behind this project made sure to create some of their own ceiling and wall-climbing critters -- suction definitely included. We admit, we kind of feel guilty about the sodium chloride transgressions of our youth. And now that we know snails can be useful, it's only a matter of time before the bedbug gets repurposed. Full omnidirectional video awesomeness after the break.
Compare Your Gadgets
Instantly compare products side by side and see which one is best for you!