Tentacle Robot under development by the U.S. Army

by Mark R

Some of you might remember when we covered the Omnitread, an odd snake-like robot with the ability to crawl into small places. Apparently, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory is working on similar technology with a Robotic Tentacle Manipulator. As you can see, it has three snake robots on a circle base.

These robot tentacle things sound like they will be programmed to detach from the base and then have the ability to “crawl, swim, climb or shimmy through narrow spaces all while transmitting images to the Soldier who is operating the system”. This prototype also has capabilities for 3D mapping and touch sensitivity, allowing it to even open doors. I’m guessing that is a big step for robots.

Of course, if these tentacles stayed attached to the base, that could be cool too. Then it could turn upside down and be some sort of robot tripod thing that could travel like a mini Doctor Octopus. That, or one of the Tripods from The White Mountains. Please leave a comment if you know exactly what I am referring to. That, or Google it.

Is it just me, or does it seem like more military research is being invested in projects that feel taken straight out of science fiction? And I thought the “Star Wars” defense program died in 1993.


3 reviews or comments

Chad Says: July 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I loved “When the Tripods Came” et al when I was younger. Great books.

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