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iRobot takes up the ChemBot challenge, no one is safe


Hide your kids, iRobot just got that ChemBot contract DARPA was shopping around last year, which means that before we know it, sentient bots will be oozing through keyholes and making really bad movies without regard for human life or decency. Probably. The project is a "multi-year, multi-million" R&D effort to build robots that are soft and flexible, and can squeeze through openings smaller than their actual "structural" dimensions. And of course the bots can't be stupid piles of ooze, either, they'll need to identify obstacles and report back findings. iRobot is teaming up with Harvard and MIT for the project, and expects to be working in research from fields as diverse as chemistry and "actuator technologies" to build the bots.

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