University of Leeds researcher Dr. Jordan Boyle has created a giant robotic worm that can maneuver around obstacles, modeled after C. elegans nematode; not that thing Doug Funny tried to catch, but the real thing in real life that uses a simple nervous system to control the way it moves. Boyle hopes that the worm could one day be used to maneuver through rubble and deliver rescue equipment to trapped survivors:
“A future version of this robot could potentially navigate through irregular gaps and holes in buildings that had been damaged by fire, explosions or earthquakes.”
Boyle feels that, given the correct “skin,” the next version of the robot should be able to deal with a variety of harsher environments, such as water, mud and snow, and may even be able to navigate around boulders or trees. Read on below to see a video of the worm in action, as well as a screenshot showing its size relative to humans.