Robo-Squirrel Plus Tree Climbing Robots Equals MechaSquirrel

A robo-squirrel named Rocky is a remote-controlled mechanical squirrel attempting to join the regular squirrels at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass.


(Rocky the robo-squirrel)

As other squirrels approach, Sarah Partan (Asst. Prof. of animal behavior) and assorted grad students watch and learn. And interact. Rocky is able to go through sequences of behaviors that communicate with real squirrels; for example, the tail-flagging and other motions that communicate danger. Rocky is also equipped with tiny speakers to play recorded squirrel sounds.

"We watch for a trade-off in their behavior," she said, pointing out a squirrel that jerked to its hind legs and froze, its eyes scanning the area as it heard Rocky's barks. "He gave up foraging to focus on being vigilant, so that's something we'd note as a discernible response."

Okay, so far so good. But I just came back from watching Iron Man, and I'm very impressed with what a robotics genius working for two hours can accomplish. I want to see someone combine Rocky the robo-squirrel with either or both of these tree-climbing robots.

Built on a limited budget, this robot is intended to climb a fixed diameter tree while using sonar sensors to avoid branches.


(Tree Climbing Robot video Trinity University)

RiSE was funded by our friends at DARPA, so it's a bit more slick than the robot shown above, which was built as a senior engineering project. RiSE has interchangeable feet - claws, micro-claws or sticky material, depending on the surface to be climbed.


(RiSE the tree climbing robot video)

I believe that the resulting MechaSquirrel could dominate the forest, and the many animals that pick on squirrels, including cats, dogs, large snakes, weasels, coyotes, red foxes, raccoons, hawks, falcons, eagles and owls, would be sent packing once and for all.

Oh, and as far as sfnalesque references are concerned, check out this robot squirrel from World of Warcraft.


(World of Warcraft mechanical squirrel)

Thanks to Zac for pointing this one out; read a bit more at Meet Rocky, a robot squirrel.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/2/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Just Eat And Starship Bring You Food Via Robot
'...its underside was studded with grilled sensors.' - Bruce Sterling, 1994.

Artificial 'Hairs' To Enhance Senses Of Robots
'Migul had extended from each of the fingertips an inch-long filament of wire...' - Ray Cummings, 1931.

ibotn Toddler-Care Mini-Robot
'She's not like a machine. She's like a person. A living person.' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

Writhing Robotic Tentacle Uses Laser To Chop Nuke Hardware
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles... swinging and rattling about its strange body.' - HG Wells, 1898.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Honda To Offer Car With Emotions
'All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition.'

Just Eat And Starship Bring You Food Via Robot
'...its underside was studded with grilled sensors.'

Life In Detroit's 'Agrihood' - The First In The U.S.
'countless tiny brown circles in the green fields ...occasional ruins of ancient cities...'

Artificial 'Hairs' To Enhance Senses Of Robots
'Migul had extended from each of the fingertips an inch-long filament of wire...'

The Point Of View Of An Autonomous Car
'It is safe to say that the new model almost revolutionized America in more ways than one...'

You Can't Lose The Travelmate Autonomous Suitcase - It Follows You
'...follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'

ibotn Toddler-Care Mini-Robot
'She's not like a machine. She's like a person. A living person.'

Nuclear Batteries Based On Diamonds Last Millennia
'they just package it and ship it around to wherever people want it...'

Eighth Sense Emotion-Responsive Cloak
'This sensitivity to mood explains the real popularity of bio-fabrics...'

British Airways To Offer An Ingestible Sensor To Passengers
The modern way to get feedback from passengers.

Unique DNA To Foil Parts Counterfeiters
'... the only molecule, a unique protein amino acid, which could not be duplicated.'

MIT Researchers Predict The Future From Still Photos
'What I have in this camera is not a record of what you did just now but what will go on here in the next half hour...'

Mini Robot Uses 2 mm Surgical Tools
'... surgical tool - blades, tweezers, probes - so fine you could just see them with the naked eye.'

Childhood Dreams Of Space Realized! Space Junk Problem Solved!
'Give the noble daydreams a rest, you preachy rookie. Astronauts are wage slaves like everyone else!'

Writhing Robotic Tentacle Uses Laser To Chop Nuke Hardware
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles... swinging and rattling about its strange body.'

LBNP Device Not Quite 'Artificial Gravity'
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses..'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.