Researchers at Disney have developed a robot that can swtich between different styles of locomotion on the fly. They call it Snapbot, named after it slightly-unnerving ability to lose or gain legs at a moment’s notice.
“The body of Snapbot houses a microcontroller and a battery for untethered operation,” the researchers explain on their website. Connections between the legs mean they are constantly in communication with each other, and magnetic mechanical couplings allow for each of the legs to connect quickly and easily. In the center of this coupling, the Snapbot has a multi-pin spring-loaded electrical connector that distributes power and transmits data between the controller and leg actuators.
Read more: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/robots/news/a28323/disneys-snapbot-is-slighty-horrifying/