OmniTread: a terrifying, vibrating, go-anywhere snakebot

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It’s not quite as endearing as the (also terrifying) BigDog, but the OmniTread robot does seem pretty useful. That is, if you don’t need to go fast. The bot is a specialist in navigating rubble and small spaces, and could help locate people trapped under collapsed buildings. There is a risk of them running in terror, but if they’re pinned it shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s designed by roboticists at the University of Michigan, and right now there aren’t any production plans. But if it were to prove itself in a quake or other disaster, they might find themselves with a government contract right quick.

[via Coolest Gadgets and TechEBlog]

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