Rat-like Scratchbot Robot Navigates Using 'Whiskers'

 - Jul 4, 2009
References: newscientist
Built to mimic the way a rat feels its way with its whiskers, a research team from Britain unveiled a robot built like a rat that could navigate its way through rubble in the search and rescue of potential victims.

Prior robots built with rescue operations in mind have used added cameras to find their way, but with the Scratchbot, movements is determined entirely by the plastic whiskers, which move back and forth to find objects at up to five times per second.

The rodent robot was built on the way real rats search through dark environments using their whiskers to figure out what type of object they've come up against by also moving their whiskers back and forth.

Three drive units operating independently allow the Scratchbot to move in any direction it needs to.