Robotic Engineers at the University of Bristol in the UK have created a robot that senses its environment using whiskers. This funky robot is designed for search and rescue attempts when vision is impaired in mines or smokey rooms. Check out the video after the jump.
The Sratchbot has 18 whiskers which move back and forth 5 times a second to help it adjust to its environment as quickly as possible.
When a whisker bends, a sensor on its shaft signals software to orient the ’bot toward the object. Whiskers close to an object move less, while those farther away make wide, sweeping motions to establish the object’s exact edges.