Next Big Thing – animal robot rescue

Two legs bad, four legs good? Robotics scientists go beyond the electric pet

Are you peddling useless robot pets again?

Not at all, this is a different breed of robot entirely. Animal-bots are being created left, right and centre in the labs of universities like Stanford, where this ceiling-clambering gecko robot StickyBotlll was built.

Robot gecko? Are you mad?

You'll change your tune when the Shrewbot saves your life. It's a superhuman robot developed at the University of Sheffield that has 18 whiskers to help distinguish between different surfaces. So when you find yourself in a burning, smoke-filled house, maybe a Shrewbot is exactly what you'll want by your side. 

Any more superhero robopets?

As a matter of fact, there is. The Delfly is a tiny piece of remote control tech – it has two pairs of flapping wings like a dragonfly plus a camera on board– pretty nifty for high octane recon expeditions. Like sending it out to see which of your housemates is scoffing all your snacks at night. Then again, these animal-bots aren't likely to hit Christmas shelves until, say, 2030 so best to settle any biscuit disputes the old-fashioned way for now.


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