Oct. 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM ET
Researchers have modified a two-legged hobby-kit robot with the balance and dexterity required to inch its way along a thin steel wire.
Japanese robotics researcher Masahiko Yamaguchi, who goes by the name Dr. Guero, modified the $1,800 hobby kit robot with grooves in its feet to catch the wire, akin to the way human tightrope walkers do with their toes, according to Gizmag.
The arms have fewer moving parts than the original to provide greater stability.
Instead of walking – that is putting one foot in front of the other – the robot inches its way across the wire, which is about an eighth of an inch thick. Walking with alternating feet, Dr. Guero notes on his website, should be possible, but will require more work.
No word on whether the robot will walk a wire between skyscrapers akin to Philippe Petit's 1974 stunt between the World Trade Center towers featured in the Academy Award winning "Man on Wire," but given the robot's nerves-of-steel such a feat should be as easy as cruising over table inside a lab.
– via Gizmag