May 28, 2010 AT 9:01 am

Seven Species of Robot

via TED.

Dennis Hong is a mechanical engineer and director of RoMeLa, a robotics research lab at Virginia Tech. In this video he discusses and demonstrates his seven “species” of robots, and how they work.

Some of these designs will really get you thinking, particularly the IMPASS, which uses two independently variable “wheels” with adjustable radius. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Neal Stephenson’s novel “Snow Crash” and the wheels on YT’s skateboard. This isn’t a “new” idea, but to see it in practice is still quite impressive.

You can see all the RoMeLa robots here.

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