Once in a while comes a robot that captures the imagination, and the same can be said for the HECTOR (HExapod Cognitive auTonmously Operating Robot), thanks to the people over at the University of Bielefeld’s Department of Biological Cybernetics. This hexapod robot might look as though it stepped out of a time machine from the future, but it is every bit early 21st century in terms of technology.
This meter long insect robot relies on a distributed intelligence principle that is found in insect brains. Its exoskeleton is super light and durable, being only 13% of its total weight of 12kg. Using carbon-fiber reinforced plastic shells that deform less than 1mm under a 30kg load, its joints also take another page from nature’s handbook, offering 20 degrees of freedom.
Hopefully it won’t be a pest just like a cockroach, and boy do I hate flying cockroaches. We foresee this helping out in sticky situations where humans are unable to access, perhaps even helping stem a nuclear meltdown sometime down the road?