Worms are taking over technology! The first is a cleaning robot that you see in this picture here. It is developed by Panasonic, and it is known as the Fukitorimushi. I don’t speak Japanese, but it should translate into “cleaning worm”. Like a Roomba, it can somehow sense dirty spots on the floor and clean them up.
It does it in an odd way, as it moves across the floor like an inchworm. I am assuming that it does this to imitate the human motion of scrubbing the floor, and captures the dust and grit in its nanocloth sleeve.
You can see a video of the Fukitorimushi after the jump, and I’ve also included a video of the other worm. This worm is not designed for cleaning per se, but some roboticists at Tokyo’s Waseda University have created some gel that also moves like an inchworm. Apparently, it is capable of independent motion, changing colors, and even performing calculations. Who knows what it could do in the future?
So why is the worm being used as a model for new technology? Personally, I think someone has been watching too many episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. In case you haven’t been watching it, there is a liquid metal terminator that takes the form of a wiggly worm.
With all these worm-like robots, I can’t help but wonder if we are seeing the beginning of robot evolution. It started with the nanobot, but will it end with the humanoid robot? And will that end be a terminator? Oh, the future looks so bright.