Crave's creepy-robot roundup, Ep. 230This week on Crave, we explore robots with elevated levels of freaky, like the cockroach robot that might someday find you buried under a pile rubble. Let's kick it up a notch with a robot that prints portraits in blood. Hope you're sitting down because...
It is almost impossible to kill a cockroach, which is why a team of researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have been putting cockroaches to the ultimate test. In an attempt to build the perfect robotic model of the creepy insects. The group provides an obstacle course for the cockroaches to better understand how they survive being almost squished and squeezed by trapping them in tight places to see how they get out. The team found that cockroaches can compress their bodies to the width of a coin. By moving their legs out of the way of their torso, they can move quickly through very confined spaces at high speeds. **** roaches can also withstand up to 900 times their own body weight being slammed on top of their back. Which is why if you've ever tried to crush one and it just runs away. Turns out that the shells are malleable, and can contort to fit into tiny spaces and mold around corners. With this knowledge of the cockroach's superhero-like abilities, the students built a robot they named CRAM which stands for compressible robot with articulated Mechanisms. The robot has a flexible shell and can compress it's body much like the cockroach and can maneuver inside of very cramped spaces. The team believes that this type of robot could be very useful in disaster situations, it could be deployed into collapsed buildings to crawl through tiny spaces in the rubble and locate possible survivors. You can read the entire study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences under the title Cockroaches traverse crevices, crawl rapidly in confined spaces, and inspire a soft legged robot. Click the link in the article in the Crave blog [MUSIC] If the idea of a cockroach robot crawling through the rubble of disaster zones to find you in the darkness wasn't terrifying enough, then make sure you check out Amanda Kooser's run down of the eight robots that will haunt your nightmares. Some of which include the wake up machine face-slapping alarm clock, which looks pretty weird and scary. Or how about this robotic printer that paints portraits of an artist In his own blood, which gets me feeling woozy just thinking about it. It's all at crave.cnet.com, so go and check it out. [MUSIC] Make sure you check out Crave at crave.cnet.com. You can follow Crave on Twitter @Crave. And this week's Crave giveaway is a custom-designed Timbuk2 messenger bag. CNET's Jessica Dolcourt visited the Timbuk2 factory and personally designed a cool looking bag. One winner gets to take it home for free this week on Crave. Go to the blog and enter to win. [MUSIC]