I am quite sure that most of us have heard about iRobot, which is the manufacturer of the automated robot vacuum cleaner Roomba, where they want to throw in an inflatable arm and affix it onto military robots so that they are lighter, cheaper, safer, and more agile. Just last week, the Massachusetts-based company did apply for a patent for a new device, in addition to a riff on another one of their robots, which is known as the PackBot.
The PackBot happens to be a rugged robot which boasts of an articulated arm that was specially designed for defusing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as for demining purposes. In fact, the PackBot was one of the machines which assisted in the debris clearance at the nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011. To ensure that its metal arm does not make it cumbersome to transport, a new version of it comes with an inflatable limb instead that does not compromise on its agility, and it can even be folded into the robot’s body for on the spot storage.