DARPA wants morphing robot


 The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued a request for proposals to develop a “chemical robot” made of soft, flexible materials that can squeeze through openings smaller than its static dimensions and then reconstitute itself to perform a task military task.

While the Defense Department makes frequent use of robots in warfare — to disarm improvised bombs, or see around corners or upstairs — their size and structure limit the spaces they can get into.

“Often the only available points of entry are small openings in buildings, walls, under doors, etc. In these cases, a robot must be soft enough to squeeze or traverse through small openings, yet large enough to carry an operationally meaningful payload,” DARPA stated in a solicitation last week.

DARPA is looking for robot prototypes about the size of a softball that travel a distance of 5 meters at a quarter of a meter per minute, collapse to a tenth of its size and then squeeze through a 1 centimeter opening and reconstitute to its original shape in 15 seconds.

More info:  United Press International article


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