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OUROBOT: Self-Propelled Robot for Rugged Terrain Rolls Along

Researchers from Germany's University of Bielefeld introduce their 'OUROBOT' robot, adapted from the concept of continuous tracks that are propelled and guided by wheels. The self-propelled continuous-track-robot consists of actuated chain segments, thus enabling it to change its form, independent of guiding mechanisms. Using integrated sensors, the robot is able to adapt to the terrain and to overcome obstacles. This allows the robot to 'roll' and climb in two dimensions. Possible extensions of the concept to three-dimensional navigation are presented as an outlook.