October 21, 2011
Robot Can Build Other Robots With Foam
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University of Pennsylvania scientists have built a robot that can build and repair other robots using spray-foam.
Shai Revzen and colleagues created the Foambot, which comprises of a central platform called "foam synthesizer cart."
The Foambot also consists of several jointed modes that can be released from the cart and then maneuvered into position.
The "mothership" robot can spray insulation foam to connect the clusters in order to make a robot.
"One of the key claims of modular robotics is to allow robots to be quickly adapted to unanticipated task requirements after being deployed to the field," the researchers wrote in a press release. "Modular robots aim to address this requirement by having many modules from a small set of module types, that can be rearranged into a robot morphology to accomplish the desired task."
The researchers said the foambots can be used for applications like picking up dangerous objects and creating an emergency doorstop.
"Foam can be used to change the environment," the researchers wrote in a press release. "For example, in fire-fighting or hostage rescue situations it is critically important to control entrances and exits of a building."
They also said the robot can easily jam doors and windows in closed or open state by deploying foam.
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