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Tiny CLASH robot climbs cloth with ease

The tiny robot scurries up loose cloth with its clawed legs


While the military-funded Boston Dynamics has been busy working on rough-terrain robot mules, UC Berkley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab has been plugging away at its own series of innovative all-terrain robots — albeit, as the name suggests, on a much smaller scale. Its latest project is the cloth-climbing CLASH, a successor to the lab's cockroach-like DASH. The 15-gram hexapedal robot is designed to scale loose cloth at 9.4 in/s using its claw-imbued legs, and is powered by a single motor and battery located inside its tail. While Stanford's StickyBot and SpinyBot have previously ascended windows and concrete buildings, ascending soft surfaces like cloth is a more difficult feat. Currently CLASH is only capable of vertical movement, but the lab plans to add turning ability and horizontal movement. The robot was presented last month at International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 2011.