Robotics

ckBot

Grasp Lab, University of Pennsylvania

Kick it, smash it, or drop it from on high — professor Mark Yim’s modular ckBot can take a licking and reassemble itself afterward. Scattered about, its modules can detect one another using infrared, smart cameras, and radio beacons, then slink across the floor and magnetically reconnect to form a bipedal bot capable of walking on flat surfaces. Break the ckBot as often as you like; this great-grandfather of Terminator 2 is designed to withstand the everyday accidents that would doom a lesser robot to the scrap heap.

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