Designing a robot with the same locomotive system as a single-cell amoeba is all well and good, but I’m a little concerned about the future of Virginia Tech’s invention. Yes, it means that uneven or difficult terrain could be crossed without concern over wheels or tracks getting caught, but don’t you often find that developments like these end up being vaunted for, ahem, internal human usage?
I’m envisaging a rather nightmarish scenario when instead of the friendly, personable gloved-finger being used for, say, a prostate exam, you’re instead introduced to Blob Bot who proceeds to chunner his way up into your lower intestine.
So far they’re suggesting applications such as search & rescue, construction and planetary exploration. They sound like safe, dignified occupations.