I've got to be honest: the moment I saw the robot above straighten its torso like some sort of a human-arachnid hybrid, I felt a tinge of fear. Good thing NASA JPL designed it to help humans in times of need, eh? This is RoboSimian, one of the few non-biped finalists for DARPA's Robotics Challenge. It was created to become a first responder in times of natural or man-made disasters, finding survivors and going to places humans can't visit. In the videos below the fold, you can watch its creators from NASA JPL explain the technologies they incorporated into the simian/crab-inspired machine. You can also watch Team RoboSimian prepare for DARPA's Robotics Challenge finals this Friday and Saturday, where the robot will scuttle (or drive, because yes, it can drive) around in a simulated disaster area. We'll be at the finals this weekend and might get the chance to talk to the team, so make sure to check back for more on this crazy-looking machine.
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