Spider Bot: Protective, Agile Personal Bot Keeps User Safe

One of the most challenging aspects of designing military robots is giving them the ability to travel in adverse conditions. Military operations often take place in unforgiving terrains, with weather and physical obstacles providing further problems. So how should the military robots of the future deal with sand, ice, rocks and other difficult situations? According to design firm Motion Code Blue, spiders provide the perfect design inspiration.

Although Motion Code Blue proposes the Croww 540 as a “personal robot” for modern exploration, it’s easy to see how the hexapod bot would be indispensable in a military or law enforcement setting. Its six legs provide stability even in rough terrain, making it perfect for sandy environments where other robots might have a hard time staying upright. The Croww 540 is designed to carry heavy loads of supplies or drinking water as well as equipment necessary for exploring or carrying out important missions.

But one of the most impressive features of this personal robot is its ability to rear up on two legs and transform into a shelter for its accompanying human. When the robot is in shelter mode, it pitches a small tent while providing a bit of additional protection with its own body. When inside the tent, the user can access the robot’s storage compartments on its underbelly, making the tent a safe and protected place to plan the day’s activities, repair equipment or simply get some rest.

Obviously, any robot that’s going to survive in the desert or tundra has to be robust, and the Croww 540 is certainly up to the challenge. Its important components are covered in protective panels to keep out the elements while it’s walking, and its removable, rechargeable batteries mean that users will always have a fresh charge. And the sensors and cameras that line the front of the bot make sure that it never stumbles, even when the going gets tough.

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See more in Robotics or under Technology. April, 2010.