Inspired by inchworms, Tin Lun Lam and his colleagues from The Chinese University of Hong Kong has created the "Treebot." This bot does not have any optical sensors, instead this autonomous robot feels around its surroundings to figure the best way to traverse the environment. Through its many sensors, Treebot can determine which branches, on a tree, are the best to climb through on its way to whatever goal it needs to reach. The team developed an algorithm that lets the bot negotiate different size branches as it moves. The front grippers extend to feel when it should move next, and then in pulls the lower half up like an inchworm. Then from the back gripper, the front goes on to scout again. A very nimble, and nature tried and true, technique for locomotion. Tin Lun Lam and his design partner, Yangsheng Xu, are now working on speeding up and optimizing the climbing process for Treebot.
Too bad they can not combine Treebot with GoQBot's startled catapillar quick movement scheme.