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iRobot Introduces Morphing Blob Robot

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the compare-to-doctor-johnson's-dog dept.

Robotics 177

Aristos Mazer sends word of research out of iRobot on a "chembot," or morphing blob robot, that looks like dough and moves by shifting its sides from solid-like to liquid-like states. This will allow it, in theory and after lots of refinement, to pass through cracks by squeezing. iRobot calls the new technique "jamming." The research project was funded by DARPA. The video clearly shows the early stage the work is in, but when you think about it the possibilities are a little unsettling.

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I, for one.... (1, Redundant)

lag10 (667114) | about 5 years ago | (#29787511)

welcome our new blobular overlords.

Re:I, for one.... (0, Redundant)

masshuu (1260516) | about 5 years ago | (#29788479)

1: its first post, i can't be redundant.
2: its "I, for one welcome our new blobular ROBOTIC overlords.

Re:I, for one.... (-1, Redundant)

hort_wort (1401963) | about 5 years ago | (#29788681)

It's redundant because it's the same joke on every topic. It's the slashdot equivalent of "first post!!!11".

Re:I, for one.... (1)

lag10 (667114) | about 5 years ago | (#29789239)

While that may be true, the intention of posting such things is to induce some sort of amusement.

It obviously didn't work for you.

A confession: I smell my own farts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29787515)

It's true- I'll waft them up to my face, or fart on something then smell that. I've noticed a difference between smelling farts off my fingers and farting into a towel and smelling that. I prefer the towel. Sometimes, right before I take a shower, I'll wipe my ass with a towel or my underwear to smell my butt-perfume. I frequently pull the covers over my own head when I fart between the sheets. Oh, and I love the smell and frequency of my hangover farts. I love leaving my room for a few minutes and coming back to smell my still-lingering farts hanging in the air. To me its kind of like climing out of the swimming pool, getting in the hot tub for a few minutes, then going back into the pool. If I want to fart without making a lot of noise I'll reach into my pants and hold my buttcheeks apart with my fingers so the gas can leave my asshole unobstructed. it actually makes a very audible "pssssssssssssss" sound. Like if someone was in earshot but they couldn't see me, they would probably be wondering if i was farting with my fingers in my ass.

Sometimes if I'm in public I'll find "discreet" ways to indulge my fart-sniffing penchance. For example I'll try to pass gas as quietly as possible, then discreetly fan my thighs open and closed so the gas is wafted up to my face.

Looks eerily (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 5 years ago | (#29787549)

like the eggs of the Zerg.

Re:Looks eerily (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29787579)

I'm sure thats what the Rover was in Prisoner.

Re:Looks eerily (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#29788831)

I heard that they spent half the film's budget on a giant robot that was meant to be the Rover, and then a cable snapped and they dropped it in the ocean. Later that day they saw a weather balloon rolling along and thought "stuffit, that looks freaky enough to chase our hero".

That's impressive? (4, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | about 5 years ago | (#29787563)

I've got a sourdough starter that will kick that thing's jammy little ass.

Re:That's impressive? (3, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 5 years ago | (#29789131)

Yeah, totally agree. I can't say that I was amazingly impressed by this at all. Okay, so it's a ball that moves by making bits hard and bits soft. The movement on the thing seemed so incredibly "strugglesome" and getting that thing through a crack? Yeah, right.

Cool, yes, fairly, but lets not have the summary overhype the actual story. It's not a robot. It's a sack of gritty air. Also, there is a ponytail sized bunch of wires hanging out of it. Also, it sort of rolls semi randomly. Also, it was shown moving over a perfectly flat tabletop. Not quite the images of terror I was expecting. Call it how it is.

That's fine, but does it do... (1)

macraig (621737) | about 5 years ago | (#29789719)

.... floors?

Uh oh (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 years ago | (#29787597)

Please tell me this research isn't being done on a remote island...

Re:Uh oh (3, Interesting)

bkpark (1253468) | about 5 years ago | (#29787787)

Please tell me this research isn't being done on a remote island...

Don't you mean, "Please tell me this research is being done on a remote island", in case something goes wrong?

Re:Uh oh (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 5 years ago | (#29788079)

Don't worry, this technology has been out for years [wikipedia.org] and nothing's happened yet.

Re:Uh oh (3, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | about 5 years ago | (#29788959)

Don't worry, this technology has been out for years [wikipedia.org] and nothing's happened yet.

For referencing that TV show I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Re:Uh oh (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#29788867)

Don't you mean, "Please tell me this research is being done on a remote island", in case something goes wrong?

I don't know, aren't remote islands the perfect place to develop our first ever Shoggoths?

Re:Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29789075)

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Uh oh (1)

lennier (44736) | about 5 years ago | (#29789561)

It's okay, the odds against failure are precisely a million to one.

Nokia Morph (3, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | about 5 years ago | (#29787615)

Nokia has a somewhat similar concept of this as well, implemented for mobile devices http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX-gTobCJHs [youtube.com]

Concept design, but pretty cool to watch.

Re:Nokia Morph (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 5 years ago | (#29787783)

That's not a concept, that's a cartoon. From that realm, I'm far more interested in the ability to not fall by not looking down.

Re:Nokia Morph (1)

JordanL (886154) | about 5 years ago | (#29788319)

It's my understanding that most of the technology in the Nokia video is actually pretty well fleshed out, it would just take a trillion dollars to build it because we have no adequate ways to manufacture it.

Re:Nokia Morph (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788121)

Why the hell is this modded off-topic?

The video is exactly one potential future use of this blob-bot.

Re:Nokia Morph (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788289)

It's offtopic because the technologies involved are completely unrelated.

Re:Nokia Morph (2, Insightful)

x2A (858210) | about 5 years ago | (#29788743)

No it's not. A thing that you can change the shape of is different to a thing that can change its own shape. The second can surely benefit from the first (flexible circuit board printing & components etc) but the first is only really likely to benefit from the second as two things spending money researching one problem may yield twice the results (or patents, of course)

Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29787623)

I for one welcome our new shape-shifting overlords.

The Ball! (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#29787627)

Finally, now we can make "the ball" guard from The Prisoner.

I am not a number! You're number 6! I am not a number, I'm a free man!!

Re:The Ball! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29787935)

What do you mean "the ball"? It's hardly be an object of terror if it was called "the ball", now would it?

It's called Rover.

Re:The Ball! (3, Funny)

WraithCube (1391567) | about 5 years ago | (#29788417)

What's wrong with calling an object of terror "the ball"? Cubes are our companions, balls our terror, and pyramids somehow related to mysterious or secret groups or aliens with strange powers.

I'm not sure where a robot blob fits on the scale though. I guess it depends on whether it decides to server or destroy humanity. Then it should squeeze in nicely next to either flubber or skynet.

I'll be bock.... (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 5 years ago | (#29787633)

Seriously. How much longer before it's driving a semi trying to kill some kid that supposedly saves man kind?

Re:I'll be bock.... (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 5 years ago | (#29788493)

Have you seen this boy?

Hey! (4, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29787671)

Taco is NOT a robot! I've seen him write an original summary!

Re:Hey! (2, Funny)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | about 5 years ago | (#29787851)

I've seen him write an original summary!

When did this happen?

Re:Hey! (2, Funny)

skine (1524819) | about 5 years ago | (#29788943)

I've seen him write an original summary!

When did this happen?

Don't worry, it won't happen again.

I've made a few...adjustments...

Re:Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788101)

Original in the sense that it had nothing at all to do with the article in question?

Re:Hey! (0, Troll)

rubycodez (864176) | about 5 years ago | (#29788205)

also, I heard he can't even squeeze his ass into a coach plane seat

If I don't, someone else will. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29787707)

I suppose the next sentence someone had to post sooner or later...

I for one welcome our new robot overlords!

Medical applications (1, Interesting)

GaryOlson (737642) | about 5 years ago | (#29787723)

I know some digestive system specialist is thinking of ways this can be used in intestines for diagnosis and treatment. Those guys will use any equipment which gives patients a bad feeling both before and during the procedure. But, I could see how installing cameras at all vertices on the blob could be useful for taking a complete picture inside a cavity. And how this could move around blockages which currently require more aggressive methods of removal/retraction.

Re:Medical applications (4, Interesting)

Jahava (946858) | about 5 years ago | (#29787827)

There are some basic problems with this - specifically, iRobot's demonstration uses the addition and removal of air to control both size and hardness. In bodily cavities, not only would air be in limited supply, but in some areas (i.e. blood stream) it's downright not welcome!

Re:Medical applications (1)

matzahboy (1656011) | about 5 years ago | (#29788021)

It would be easy enough to alter the inflation gas to something more available

Re:Medical applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788445)

Air is compressible.

Re:Medical applications (5, Funny)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | about 5 years ago | (#29788711)

Luckily, the use of blood to control the size and hardness of a mechanical system is a well-demonstrated technology.

Re:Medical applications (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788071)

the " digestive system specialist " is actually just some guy that loves shoving stuff up his ass.

Re:Medical applications (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788159)

Those guys will use any equipment which gives patients a bad feeling both before and during the procedure.

Does the man in "1guy1cup" qualify as the ultimate digestive system specialist?
 

Re:Medical applications (1)

x2A (858210) | about 5 years ago | (#29788839)

Cuz the legs on this thing [dallasnews.com] do look a scary thing to have tugging away on your insides! I'm sure they've thought of that and it's actually fine, but still... look at it... eek! There's gotta be better ways of moving than that!

What I want.... (5, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | about 5 years ago | (#29787739)

... is a small robot vacuum a lot like the Roomba that can *ALSO* automatically empty its canister into a larger bin whenever the vacuum is full.

Re:What I want.... (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#29788065)

I *hate* to get into a humans vs robots argument, but seriously, just hire a good maid.. you'll never think robots are close to the same capabilities of humans again.

I wish every "home robot" designer would do this, maybe we'd start getting some robots that are actually capable.

Re:What I want.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 5 years ago | (#29788477)

Maids cost whole a lot more. In less than 3 months, I would spend just as much on a maid as a Roomba vacuum costs... the electricity usage itself being negligible. I won't argue that a human maid probably does a better job, but the difference isn't enough to justify that much extra expense. At least IMO.

Re:What I want.... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#29788625)

In less than 3 months, I would spend just as much on a maid as a Roomba vacuum costs

If, after 3 months, you haven't realized that your Roomba is a toy that can't do a tenth of the job of what it is required to do then you're doing better than most of us.

Re:What I want.... (3, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | about 5 years ago | (#29789487)

The Roomba does two things that I really appreciate: 1. Cleans up under the dinner table and gets all the stuff my kids drop, and 2. cleans the dust way under the bed that breeds dust mites.

No, it doesn't do as well as a regular vacuum. But it's small and does its thing however often you want.

Re:What I want.... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 5 years ago | (#29788885)

if only the roomba had a vagina :(

And what's next? (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#29788303)

Another robot that would empty that bin into another larger bin?
And a larger robot to empty that one into a even larger bin?

We can't just keep building larger and larger robots and bins. We would run out of space pretty soon. Then where would we be?

Re:And what's next? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 5 years ago | (#29788429)

Nah... I can empty the larger bin manually... the biggest problem I have with the roomba in my experience is that its cannister is so small that it can't usually vacuum for more than about 15 minutes without having to empty it, which means it requires supervision, since that's not enough time to leave it alone to do its job.

Re:And what's next? (1)

Cyrus20 (1345311) | about 5 years ago | (#29788719)

its not that hard to clean manually without the aid or supervising of robots.

Re:And what's next? (1)

x2A (858210) | about 5 years ago | (#29788863)

"We can't just keep building larger and larger robots and bins"

Isn't that Apple's main business model? :-p

Re:What I want.... (3, Informative)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 5 years ago | (#29789197)

Like this one: http://www.probotics.com/dispcat.asp?ab=18 [probotics.com]

"The Karcher RC-3000 automatic vacuum cleaner features a battery powered, self emptying, 11" vacuuming robot and self recharging base station. ..."

I can't find a price, but last time I saw, it was about twice the price of the Roomba.

Re:What I want.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29789267)

This already exists... Check out the Karcher Robocleaner. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10GS7wFX8VE

It's like a Roomba, except its home base is also a bin into which it barfs its contents when it docks. Oh, and it costs 5-10x times as much as a Roomba, depending on where you look... assuming you can find one for sale. I gave up on finding one when I saw the price.

wow no obligitory T-1000 comment ? (2, Interesting)

Brigadier (12956) | about 5 years ago | (#29787751)

now I know something is going on with slashdot, I totally expected a barage of T-1000 rants, and knee jerk joke threads.

Re:wow no obligitory T-1000 comment ? (1)

Boomerang Fish (205215) | about 5 years ago | (#29788001)

Nah, the T1000 was a wimp... it's the terminatrix from the third movie that makes me feel funny in certain areas I'm not supposed to talk about...

--
I drank what?

Re:wow no obligitory T-1000 comment ? (2, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 5 years ago | (#29788123)

public?

Re:wow no obligitory T-1000 comment ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788145)

To slashdot's credit, there was a "mimeticpolyalloy" tag. Just sayin'.

Re:wow no obligitory T-1000 comment ? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 5 years ago | (#29789333)

now I know something is going on with slashdot, I totally expected a barage of T-1000 rants, and knee jerk joke threads.

Well, somebody did make an overlords joke. Admittedly, though, the 0 score and the redundant mod was a twist only Shyamalan would have attempted.

Additional Robots (5, Funny)

natebarney (987940) | about 5 years ago | (#29787777)

Now, if they can make D12, D10, D8, D6, and D4 robots, I'll never fail another critical roll again!

Re:Additional Robots (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#29787963)

A robot D11 [wikipedia.org] that can squeeze through small openings? Not autonomous, I hope. Or at least obedient to the Three Laws.

Credit where credit is due (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 5 years ago | (#29787785)

Dr Susan Calvin has really excelled herself this time.

d'oh (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29787855)

looks like dough and moves by shifting its sides from solid-like to liquid-like states

Sounds like my wedding night.

Finally (1, Funny)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | about 5 years ago | (#29787885)

The buttplug of the future.

Re:Finally (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | about 5 years ago | (#29788181)

I can see that I am not the only deeply perverted Slashdotter here.

to pass through cracks by squeezing . iRobot calls the new technique "jamming."

Come on, they are just asking for it.

Although I think the best market for this is initially one populated by disgusting perverts (a larger market than anyone wants to admit) there is something incredibly terrifying about a military machine whose primary target is your asshole .

Imagine the horror. Somewhere in eastern Afghanistan there are men huddled in a cave fervently whispering. Talking not about smart missiles, bunker busters, and fuel bombs, but about smart AI blobs of fast moving jelly that get inside you and your death is one by your asshole exploding slowly through intense pressure deep in your bowels .

Between one of those horror blobs and 10 Navy Seals, I think I would choose death by Navy Seals instead.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788327)

Mod parent up, please. +42 funny.

Re:Finally (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788533)

I think DARPA might fund your ideas.

Re:Finally (2, Funny)

x2A (858210) | about 5 years ago | (#29788879)

A suicide bummer?

Re:Finally (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 5 years ago | (#29789127)

A suicide bummer?

Dear God.... What if it isn't??

They could be ... re-usable on the battlefield. Solar rechargeable even! I can see a AI sub-routine labled "A2M".

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29789005)

What? You would rather be bummed to death by 10 Navy Seals?

Unsettling? (2, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 5 years ago | (#29787915)

Why is everything either a YRO or Orwellian issue here? Can't it just be cool?

Re:Unsettling? (1)

Talgrath (1061686) | about 5 years ago | (#29788233)

You must be new to Slashdot, welcome! Just for future info, anything with a budget of more than $100 must be either a sinister plot to take away your rights or extremely dangerous here at Slashdot. Slashdot, where crazy hobos that like to hold signs hang out and chat!

Re:Unsettling? (1)

peipas (809350) | about 5 years ago | (#29788253)

The tin foil industry resembles those questions.

Re:Unsettling? (1)

x2A (858210) | about 5 years ago | (#29788977)

Some people have no sense of cool... I tend to ignore them, occasionally trying to convince the odd one or two to quit being little bitches, but it rarely changes anything. Occasionally it does though, and new people find excitement in cool things, that's pretty cool, and then they start hunting for cools things themself, and sometimes share with you something cool that you didn't already know. But there's still a huge amount of people out there are dumb, panicky, phobic, short sighted, closed minded, with internet connections and even slashdot accounts.

They may even outnumber us, but it is our visions and dreams that live on. You are not alone :-)

The Blob! (1)

stockard (1431131) | about 5 years ago | (#29788053)

If it gets much bigger, we'll have to call Steve McQueen [imdb.com] for help!

chembot (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 5 years ago | (#29788141)

Why is it named "chembot" when it uses purely mechanical processes for motion? I was expecting compounds exhibiting some sort of electrochemical or electromechanical properties. This robot appears to use an entirely hydraulic system.

Tried that... didn't work (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#29788343)

They called it a Mech at first, but people kept complaining how it lacks legs, and missile arms, and swords...
And that is not counting those who complained how Mech is not a robot but a vehicle.

So... they jumbled the letters a bit and called it chem-bot.

Re:chembot (1)

microcars (708223) | about 5 years ago | (#29789661)

mod parent up please

A more conventional robot seems more effective. (3, Interesting)

argent (18001) | about 5 years ago | (#29788149)

Why would this be more effective than a robot consisting of 20 linear actuators inside a tough enclosure? For that matter a serpentine or ferret-like robot would be more effective at fitting through narrow openings. There's reasons large animals abandoned amoeboid motion in favor of crawling or slithering.

Re:A more conventional robot seems more effective. (2)

x2A (858210) | about 5 years ago | (#29789011)

It's research, which is the act of converting questions that you may not even know yet into answers.

It may perfectly well turn out that your question is correct (heh) and there is no benefit to a robot made entirely out of this technology... or it may turn out that it's very good at getting into small spaces and lifting (may have post earthquake uses?) or that this material on the end of something has uses that it perhaps wouldn't do on its own.

Will never know without the research.

Re:A more conventional robot seems more effective. (2, Interesting)

x2A (858210) | about 5 years ago | (#29789049)

"There's reasons large animals abandoned amoeboid motion in favor of crawling or slithering"

Oh and yes there was... big things are harder to organise and maintain... from the tiny (when atoms get too big they split) to the large (when civilisations get too large they split, we have seen this happen many times). Cells are the same... to become big animals, you have to go from being single celled to multiple celled, to multiple celled with specialist cells to perform different functions better than a single cell could perform all of them. Arranging that into a fluidic mass is much harder than giving it structure and legs and muscles etc. That doesn't mean that legs are better; just easier for nature to come up with.

Wow (3, Funny)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 5 years ago | (#29788231)

Imagine being an insurgent hiding in a cave once the Pentagon equips this robot with a bomb, or better yet, Sony batteries...

All I can say is... (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | about 5 years ago | (#29788299)

Eeeeeewwwwwww!

Re:All I can say is... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#29788313)

I notice that the person who handled it wore gloves...

Similar projects (1)

glebovitz (202712) | about 5 years ago | (#29788315)

I read an article recently in my alumni magazine about a collaboration between Intel and Carnegie Mellon to develop microscopic or miniature robots that use magnetic or static charges to attract and repel each other to propel a collection of them. The changes in charges and magnetic states also allows them to shift from a globular to a solid state. The article sounded similar to borg nanoprobes. From the article, it appears that they started doing this 5 years ago and have made significant progress.

I wonder if the iRobot technology is similar?

Re:Similar projects (2, Informative)

x2A (858210) | about 5 years ago | (#29789087)

"From the article, it appears that they started doing this 5 years ago and have made significant progress"

Research in this area has made significant progress, yes, but still a long long way to go. There will probably be milestones along the way though, where a partially successful device may have lesser uses, but uses nontheless. There are already nanostructures that 'swim' using energy (eg, sugars) in the liquid they are put in, but when I saw those, they were just dumb self propelling motors, there was no control element to it.

"I wonder if the iRobot technology is similar?"

I don't know about other iRobot tech, but this stuff isn't. The video [youtube.com] explains how it works.

I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788329)

...Welcome our new shape-shifting overlords.

Medical Applications (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | about 5 years ago | (#29788365)

A variety of medical applications come to mind.

Inject liquid-form robot next to broken or diseased bone. Robot flows into position alongside bone, then solidifies itself to splint the bone.

Inject liquid-form robot next to tumor. Robot flows into position, surrounding tumor. Robot then solidifies into hundreds of tiny scalpel blades, which chop up the tumor. Robot then flows a syringe out of the patients body, and discharges the cancerous slurry.

It's a... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788381)

Shoggoth!

X the Unknown (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788385)

X the Unknown

Powered by jellybeans? (2, Insightful)

BRock97 (17460) | about 5 years ago | (#29788559)

Now which flavor of jellybean turned it into a ladder and which one turned it into a bridge?

WTF!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788659)

Do these egg-heads not go to the movies, evar? Why do they hate us so much?

We're all fucked.

That's all well and fine... (2, Funny)

not-too-smatr (1659369) | about 5 years ago | (#29788693)

but shouldn't we invent Mega Man before we invent one of his enemies?

Anon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788935)

Ok am I the only one missing this? A ROBOT
funded by DARPA, which can morph parts if itself between SOLID
and LIQUID states?
Next thing they'll tell us is that it's a snake...

WELCOME! (1)

kidMike (627686) | about 5 years ago | (#29788963)

I, for one, welcome our new Jamming Morphing Doughy Overlords.

What about the gun? (1)

LowlyWorm (966676) | about 5 years ago | (#29789343)

But will the gun still get stuck when it squeezes between bars?

How is this a "robot"? (1)

microcars (708223) | about 5 years ago | (#29789607)

It is not automonous
It is tethered to a power supply (in this case:pneumatic, but it could be hydraulic, electric,mechanical, whatever...)
I don't get the "ChemBot" part either, there is no chemical change. I just see compression/relaxation cycles.

I used to work in Special Mechanical Effects for films and commercials and we made all sorts of crap like this that was remotely controlled with bladders and shit in it and we never called it a "robot".
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