Imagine you’re a squishy cube. Imagine you need to climb a hill. How do you do it? With your tongue(s), of course.
Researchers at CSAIL at MIT have created a little cube robot that can propel itself around by swiping at surfaces with metal tongues. The tongues turn around an axis and stick out briefly, jettisoning the robot into space for a moment as it rolls over obstacles. While the researchers call the robot a “A Soft Cube Capable of Controllable Continuous Jumping” I prefer to call it “Little Tongue Softy.”
The cube can be outfitted with interesting payloads including cameras and sensors, allowing it to enter a room, scoot around, and return without too much trouble. It’s a fun little system and quite unique in that it’s actually a cube and not a cylinder or ball.