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 ")

Robotic Exoskeleton Releases Man From Wheelchair
'This man was standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'- Fritz Leiber, 1968.

Oh, Just Let Robots Run Airports
I'd like a friendly robot to help me at airports. Especially the bag-carrying part.

Why, Oh Why, Must We Develop Robots That Run Faster Than I Do?
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'- Neal Stephenson, 1992.

Golf Robot Putts Out
'The robot solemnly hit a ball against the wall, picked it up and teed it, hit it again, over and again...' - Frederik Pohl, 1954.

 

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

Hackers Can Take Control Of Cars From Anywhere In The World
'The car faltered as the external command came to brake...'

Armed Drone Opens Fire
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...'

Robotic Exoskeleton Releases Man From Wheelchair
'This man was standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'

Oh, Just Let Robots Run Airports
I'd like a friendly robot to help me at airports.

How Smart Should AI's Be Allowed To Get?
'Every AI ever built has an electromagnetic shotgun wired to its forehead'

NASA Misses $5Trillion Funding Boost
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'

Kuwait Creates Mandatory DNA Database For Citizens
And who has the largest DNA database on its citizens?

Please, Please Let There Be Regenerated Teeth
'Toothbud transplants...'

Google AI 'Deep Dreams' Kubrick's 2001
'I was only trying to do what I thought best....'

The BLITAB: First Tactile Tablet for Blind People
Absolutely amazing development - now blind people can read the web!

Why, Oh Why, Must We Develop Robots That Run Faster Than I Do?
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'

Golf Robot Putts Out
'The robot solemnly hit a ball against the wall, picked it up and teed it, hit it again, over and again...'

Computer Finds Cancer Doctors Miss
The computer will see you now.

Would Robot Taxis Ease Carbon Emissions?
'He emerged and flagged down a robot taxi...'

Brainwaves As Biometric Identification
'The doors of Mr. Lars, Incorporated, shut, tuned as they were to his own cephalic pattern.'

What-If Machine Concocts Creative Premises
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

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.