Skating Robot 'Swims' on Land

Illustration for article titled Skating Robot 'Swims' on Land

This is the Roller-Walker, a four-legged robot which can either walk conventionally or skate on retractable wheels. At the end of each leg there is a wheel which can turn 90 degrees to act as a foot. On rough surfaces the robot walks, but if it comes across a smoother surface then it swings out its wheels and skates in a weirdly graceful swimming motion, just like a lycra clad roller-blader. See a video of it in action after the jump.


The Roller-Walker has been constructed by the Hirose-Fukushima Robotics Lab in Japan, and uses considerably less energy when skating than conventional walking robots. I want a car that weaves down the highway like this. []


Unbelievable! So slow while walking, yet so graceful while "skating." It is doing exactly what a child learning to skate backwards would do: carve with their feet.