A robot built with a series of springs along the length of its body has the flexibility to move like a worm around obstacles. The super-sized “worm-bot” is modeled on the C. elegans nematode, a tiny free-living worm that uses an ultra-simple nervous system to control the way that it moves.
The robot is 2,000 times larger than the 1 mm-long C. elegans worm. Unlike its natural counterpart—which has no skeleton at all—the robot has a rigid “backbone,” just like a snake.
Designer Jordan Boyle, a research fellow at the University of Leeds in the UK, is hopeful the worm-bot one day could be used by search and rescue crews to send heat-seeking equipment into collapsed buildings or deliver aid to trapped survivors.
Full story at Futurity.