I'm not sure if you have ever woken up in the morning at thought to yourself "I'm going to make a robot that looks like a tapeworm", I know I sure haven't. Just because we haven't had these visions doesn't mean someone else hasn't, and in fact they have: researchers at Michigan State University have developed a robotic caterpillar called OmniTread, which can climb, slither and squeeze through almost any obstacle. Just like the humming bird robot we covered earlier this week, this bot also has search and rescue in mind.
Not only does this bot look awesome it also functions incredibly well as you can see in the video below. It has tracks on all sides of its sections allowing it to climb up vertical pipes by making an S shape, can squeeze though 4 inch holes or even pick up half of its body to scale tall obstacles.
Right now the bots are still being tested and worked through before they can be declared "complete". Most of the models shown have in fact been powered by an AC cord, which in a search an rescue situation could prove to be a major hindrance. There is is a battery powered model being tested with a battery life of about 75 minutes.
[via Coolest Gadgets]