Saturday, 10 April 2010

OmniTread Rescue Robot Revealed Bizarre Snake Robot Helps Rescue People From Collapsed Buildings

The great young minds at the University of Michigan have unveiled the
OmniTrack series of robots. The two robots, the OT-4 and OT-8 are
snake-like rescue robots are that designed to crawl through rubble and
rough terrain to search for injured people. Each of it's segments is
covered with treads on all four sides, letting it crawl in some unique ways.
It is a bit slow (the YouTube
video is sped up x4 speed – and it's still slow), and the two
prototypes are powered by AC power adapters, but according to the
University, they've gotten one to run for 75 hours on battery life.
Ideally, it would have some sort of remote camera attached to the front
of it. Despite being sloooow, it can move in some remarkable ways, and
can move through some pretty big gaps.
So far, it's just two proof-of-concept prototype bots with no plans for
production or commercial backing – although that may change. The
US government loves spending money on public safety (fire trucks, police
cars, etc.), so if the University of Michigan sells the patent to
somebody who can manufacturer these things, we might see one in every
earthquake-troubled city in the US. Check out the YouTube clip.
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