first published on December 3, 2019 by Funker
A newly developed robot dog has the ability to climb vertical ladders, which further solidifies the potential use of autonomous machines within the military/tactical space.
Roboticist researchers at Tokyo Metropolitan University and Okayama University presented a ~15 pound quadruped robot at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2019) in Macau, China, and stunned audiences with its ability to mount, climb, and dismount a straight vertical ladder.
The robot dog is able to achieve the task with smartly designed “grippers,” acting as opposable thumbs that latch onto each ladder rung. Various cameras and sensors send data to the robot’s extremities allowing it to accurately find and hold each rung. Just as impressive as its ability to climb is its ability to dismount from the ladder once it has reached the top.
The design is obviously a prototype that needs work, as it is slow and took multiple attempts to be successful. However, the proof of concept is there. The idea is sound.
From a tactical standpoint, a climbing robot could be used to enter buildings and compounds to deliver medicine, ammunition, and water, or to gather intelligence on an area before blindly sending in troops without knowing what is waiting for them. The technology has the potential to save lives.