Creepy cockroach-like robot could find earthquake survivors

SmartPlanet

(CBS) - We may not be too far off from the futuristic world portrayed in the film "Minority Report."

A team of researchers at U.C. Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab created a robot to mimic the movement of cockroaches. Affectionately called dynamic autonomous sprawled hexapod or DASH, the robots were designed to survive falls and unstable conditions.

Kevin Peterson, Paul Birkmeyer, and Professor Ron Fearing submitted the original paper on DASH in 2009. On Monday, the researchers, along with Professor Robert Dudley, released an update which introduced DASH+Wings.

Yes, they added wings to the robotic cockroach.

The researchers say the improved DASH+Wings can move at 1.3 meters per second and climb 17 degree inclines. Scary!

SmartPlanet video: Robot that moves like a roach, could find earthquake survivors

With the additional improvements, theoretically, DASH+Wings could climb through the wreckage of disasters like earthquakes to find survivors. It could also crawl into my apartment building at night and eat my brains. Just sayin'.

You have to watch the video to ensure that Dash+Wings makes your skin crawl properly. It could potentially save lives, so we'll embrace the creepy critter...for now.

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