Saturday, June 6, 2009

Japanese 'bot builder shows off his walking chair

Robotic-spider-seat.jpg
Leave it to an awesome country such as Japan to celebrate robots, and Robo Japan 2008 is the place to do it. That's where this robotic spider chair — or is it more like a horse? — was spotted, carrying around a man much like a wheelchair could. The idea of giving a chair legs instead of wheels has its benefits, and it's one that's been explored in all corners of science fiction, from Star Wars to the robo-horse buggies in Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age.

With legs, a robotic chair might be able to traverse various surfaces easier, such as steep inclines and stairs. I suppose you couldn't zoom around like you could with wheels, but it's only a matter of time before designers can get these robotic legs galloping. With more time and effort, it seems a technology like this could have great applications for the elderly and disabled.

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