We’ve seen some unusual robots around here over the years, but this is definitely one of my favorites in recent memory. This little guy is designed to be able to easily climb cloth surfaces.
The Clothbot was designed by a team from the Chinese Academy of Science, and it uses a special set of gripper wheels to help it ascend textiles. The tiny robot weighs just under 5 ounces, but is incredibly adept at handling the challenging surface of fabric. In the demo video below, we see Clothbot climbing a shirt, and then pair of pants:
Why, you may ask, would you need a robot that can climb your pants? Its creators think that the Clothbot could be the foundation for small robotic pets that could climb on us, or the slightly more ridiculous idea of a robotic cellphone which could saddle itself on your shoulder to free your hands – guess they never heard of a Bluetooth headset. They also suggest the idea of robotic “body inspection.” Um, no thanks. On the other hand, tiny robot pets that climb on us sound kind of fun – at least until Skynet gets a hold of them.
[via IEEE Spectrum]