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The rock climbing robot

The rock climbing robot image
The rock climbing robot image
Katie Fehrenbacher
Katie Fehrenbacher|June 10, 2004 8:43 AM
Lemur robot

The engineers at Stanford and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) who brought you the Mars Rover are touting the first steps of a robot rock climber named the Lemur (damn cutesy scientists) which can meticulously climb cliffs much like their insane human-predecessors. Alright, so Lemur does stand for the not-so-cute Limbed Excursion Mobile Utility Robot and these scientists have previosuly created a 6-legged crab-like robot to perform dextrous small-scale assembly tasks. But this Lemur has 4 legs with claws at the end of each limb to hook into the uneven surface and attempt a foothold. This current version of the Lemur can't make the climb without being fed computer coordinates, the next-gen Lemur is supposed to be able to scope out the landscape and determine the best path on its own and have better grippers for sticking to flat surfaces. Scientists are looking to one day use Lemur to climb cliffs in Mars and also attempt daring search and rescue missions here on Earth — though something tells us if that someone trapped on a mountain somewhere might be a little freaked out about being rescued by a huge metal spider.

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