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Original post by Andrew Liszewski on Gizmodo

NASA's Rock Climbing Robot Could Tackle Everest With Ease

NASA's Rock Climbing Robot Could Tackle Everest With Ease

Last year NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory revealed a Spiderman-inspired grippy claw that would let spacecraft easily grab onto passing asteroids and comets. Since then the technology has been further refined and now integrated into a rock-climbing robot called the LEMUR IIB that could put Sir Edmund Hillary to shame.

Each of the robot's four articulate arms is capped with a gripper that uses 750 tiny claws—apparently all hand-crafted by JPL's summer interns—to grab onto rough surfaces like rocks. The claws are actually strong enough to hold the robot to a surface even upside-down, but in zero gravity there'll be less forces trying to break its grip.

For the moment the LEMUR IIB is limited as to where it can explore—as long as a mountain or an asteroid has a relatively smooth rock face the robot should be ok. And while it's eventually destined to explore celestial bodies as they're passing through our solar system, if NASA straps a live streaming camera to the back of this little bot and sends it up Mount Everest, I'm sure millions of wannabe mountaineers would eagerly tune in. [YouTube via IEEE Spectrum]

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