More terrific news, science fiction movie fans. Roboticists who apparently don't go see scifi movies are working to bring fence-climbing robots into being. Just great.
(Start at 25 seconds for fence climbing)
Ghost Robotics, however, thinks it can do better. It's working on the Ghost Minitaur, a dog-sized quadruped bot that could cost $1,500 or less when it hits mass production. Its direct-drive electric motors both keep the cost down (since the springiness is dictated by software, not hardware) and let it pull off feats that you don't see in far pricier machines. As Ghost Minitaur can sense contact with objects through the motors themselves, it can not only climb stairs, but scale fences and even open certain kinds of doors.
My lack of enthusiasm comes from my many viewings of the 1984 film Runaway, starring Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons from the rock group KISS. Michael Crichton wrote and directed this unjustly neglected movie, which featured fence-climbing hexapod insect robots with acid-tipped stingers, which I hope roboticists are not working on.