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Scientists create robot spider that can move “much faster” by rolling around

Scientists have built a bionic spider that’s designed to move as quickly as possible by not only walking, but also rolling.

The robot creepy-crawly, which is called the BionicWheelBot, was inspired by the flic-flac spider, a desert-dwelling creature that can change the way it moves, depending on the ground conditions.

On uneven ground it walks as normally as any other spider would. However, on even ground it moves much, much faster, by spreading its legs and basically performing loads of somersaults.

It’s highly impressive but also terrifying. Watch it go:

Researchers from a company called Festo have built a robotic version of the flic-flac, which can move much faster not by walking, but by curling up into a ball and rolling itself along.

Thankfully, it’s not quite as impressive − or horrifying − to watch as the real flic-flac, but it’s still quite something.

“In order to start rolling, the BionicWheelBot bends three legs each on the left and right of its body to make a wheel,” Festo says. “Two legs folded up whilst walking then extend, push the rolled-up spider off the ground, and continuously push it forward whilst rolling.

“This prevents the BionicWheelBot from grinding to a halt and ensures that it can move itself forward even on rough terrain. In rolling mode, the artificial spider – like its natural role model – is much faster than when walking. At the same time, the robot can even overcome inclines of up to five per cent uphill.”

Not only are robots going to kill us, they’re going to do it while looking as creepy as physically possible.

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