No IMPASS for "whegs" powered robot

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Paul Miller
November 2, 2005 3:00 AM
No IMPASS for "whegs" powered robot image
No IMPASS for "whegs" powered robot image

All those bipedal robots are so done. "Whegs" are the new leg, don't you know? Along the lines of the Robotic Mule we saw last month, the IMPASS (Intelligent Mobility Platform with Active Spoke System) uses the speed and stability afforded by wheels, along with the rough terrain abilities that legs can offer. The "whegs" are rimless wheels with three spokes, each of which passes through the axle and is adjusted by the computer on the fly for feeling along uneven terrain, or rolling at top speed. These "whegs" (we just love the sound of that word) won't be suited to all robots — it would be rather hard, for instance, to run in fear of a race of machines powered by such a cute sounding apparatus — but they could surely lend a hand in improving the next generation of search and rescue bots, so good for them.

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