This Japanese Robot is the Closest Thing to a Real-Life Star Wars Droideka You've Ever Seen

Friday, 16 October 2015 - 1:56PM
Robotics
Friday, 16 October 2015 - 1:56PM
This Japanese Robot is the Closest Thing to a Real-Life Star Wars Droideka You've Ever Seen
While there were many things that were wrong with the Star Wars prequel trilogy, one thing you can't deny is that the production design was, at times, downright beautiful. From the new spacecraft to the droid army, LucasFilm continued their trend for creating iconic pieces of science fiction technology. But of all the new tech we saw throughout those films (and later in Dave Filoni's Star Wars: Clone Wars) the force field-wielding, tumbling Droideka's were perhaps the most interesting. 


With a force field capable of repelling all but the strongest laser blasts, and rapid fire blaster cannons, the Droideka were a fearsome foe. The Droideka's rolling motion was created to allow the droids to enter a battle in the swiftest possible way, and it might just have been so efficient that it's become the inspiration for real-life robotics.

Meet Q-Ross, a robot created by Japanese developers that looks like it can do everything a Droideka can bar shooting blaster cannons and generating a force field. 



With an outer body consisting of a surprisingly strong and flexible wire shell, Q-Ross can be thrown kicked and nudged in any direction without its precious innards being harmed. The outer shell is for more than just protection, though. As you can see in the gif below, it also allows Q-Ross to tumble across flat surfaces with remarkable ease.


Q-Ross's versatility doesn't stop there, because within that shell it's hiding four legs that can pop out and give it a far more stable range of motion.


Q-Ross's developers at the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan believe that robots with versatile methods of movements such as this could prove useful in disaster zones. With its tough outer shell, a robot like Q-Ross could be thrown or dropped into a disaster zone to scan an area that might be too dangerous for human inspection. Should the terrain get too rocky, the quadrupedal movement can provide stability over uneven terrain.

Here's to hoping we don't see high-powered blaster cannons fitted to Q-Ross any time soon.

For more information on this remarkable little bot, check out the developers' paper here


Science
Technology
Robotics

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