May 20, 2005 A virtually unstoppable "snakebot" developed by a University of Michigan team resembles a high-tech slinky as it climbs pipes and stairs, rolls over rough terrain and spans wide gaps to reach the other side. The 26-pound robot developed at the U-M College of Engineering is called OmniTread. It moves by rolling, log-style, or by lifting its head or tail, inchworm-like, and muscling itself forward. The robot's unique tread design prevents it from stalling on rough ground, said research professor Johann Borenstein, head of the mobile robotics lab at U-M.
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