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 ")

Why Not Nurse Grandma With A Robot?
'She's made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic instruments...'- David Keller, 1928.

Should Robots Have Civil Rights?
'I've seen things... you people wouldn't believe...'- Blade Runner.

Toshiba's Lifelike Communication Android
Philip K. Dick offered a glimpse into this future in 1968.

Most Advanced Robotic Hand?
'Hands I could order from the atomics-engineering equipment companies...'- Robert Heinlein, 1956.

 

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

The Living Tree House
'There were trees comprised of a central columnar trunk and four vast leaves...'

Flying Defibrillator Ambulance Drone
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'

High Fidelity Produces More Expressive Avatars!
'They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other...'

Physicists Build Repulsor / Tractor Beam
'Brandon swung mighty tractor beams upon the severed halves of the Jovian vessel...'

Will You Upload Your Mind Anytime Soon?
And if so, how long will the copy last?

Students! NASA Wants To 3D Print Your Tool Design In Space!
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Amazing ARES Augmented Reality Sandbox
'First he showed him where the input and output of his brand-new kingdom were, and how to program wars...'

'3D Light Sculpture' Projected Directly Onto Retina
'...projects directly on the retina of the eye…'

3D Printer Vending Machine Dispenses Dreams
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Why Not Nurse Grandma With A Robot?
'She's made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic instruments...'

Flock Of Minisats Will Image The Earth
'We... dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.'

Should Robots Have Civil Rights?
'I've seen things... you people wouldn't believe...'

Robert Heinlein, Your Self-Driving Car Is Almost Ready!
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

The Manned Maneuvering Unit Story
'Little spurts of red-orange flame from the reaction pistol marked his companion's trail...'

Scheherazade, An Open Story Generator
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'

Sample The In Vitro Meat Cookbook
'I grabbed two Syntho-Steaks out of the freezer...'

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.