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 ")

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

 

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

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

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.