Treebot climbs trees, is a robot (video)

Brian Heater
B. Heater|05.29.11

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Treebot climbs trees, is a robot (video)
Remember when you didn't consider climbing trees a chore? Treebot doesn't -- but then, it wasn't programmed to know boredom. The robot was designed by a team at The Chinese University of Hong Kong for the express purpose of shimmying up trees autonomously, figuring out the best route up a trunk using built-in touch sensors. The 'bot's body is designed like an inchworm, expanding and contracting as it works it way up -- unlike other climbers we've seen. Treebot can carry up to 3.7 pounds as it inches along, opening up the possibility of using the machine to prune hard to reach leaves. It can also shuffle up a variety of different plants, including bamboo stems, as evidenced by the sped-up video after the break. Unwieldy foliage, you've been put on notice.

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