The robot, dubbed PolyBot, is being built and experimented with at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), in California. Imagine a robot made up of a chain of simple hinge joints. It can shape itself into a loop and move by rolling like a self-propelled tank tread; then break open the loop to form a serpentine configuration and slither under or over obstacles; and then rearrange its modules to “morph” into a multilegged spider, able to stride over rocks and bumpy terrain.
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