Handbot, the shelf climbing bot

Handbot is one piece of a larger project called Swarmanoid. The aim of the swarmanoid is to replicate the functions we usually desire out of a humanoid bot with a whole swarm of specialized bots. That seems like a silly goal to us, considering the only requirement for a humanoid bot is that it be shaped like a human. That aside, we like their stuff. The handbot specifically is designed to retrieve books from bookshelves. It has specialized arms for climbing and grabbing the books with a batman-esque retractable rope launcher mounted on top for added speed and strength. The gait of the handbot really reminds us of how chameleons walk. We’re curious if this is a coincidence or not.

[via BotJunkie]


  1. chicosoft says:


  2. EFH says:

    What’s with the string?

  3. greenyooper says:

    @efh – please, please read the summary at lest before you post

  4. greenyooper says:

    i mean least – serves me right

  5. Odin84gk says:

    That was kinda painful to watch.

  6. strider_mt2k says:

    I could have seen the movie in that time!

  7. Ryan says:

    What is the point in this. I wouldnt want a bot making holes in my ceiling and taking 30mins to get one book! wtf. waste of time

  8. Polaczek says:


  9. moron4hire says:

    ryan: what is the point of your existence? If I wanted to hear negativity all the time, I’d just pull my polish sausage out of your mother’s mouth.

  10. michael says:

    Well, the robot climbing by grasping and switching arms is a nice idea, but the concept of using it to grab a book isn’t such a nice idea…

    As far as I can tell it can’t even bring the book back to the owner. Can it put the book back on the shelf?

    Don’t get me wrong, really nice proof of concept of climbing something – the tool just doesn’t fit the job.

  11. JPElectron says:

    Am I the only one thinking that if it can descend via the rope, wouldn’t have been faster to go up using the rope? Grandma could have died in the time it took to fetch her that book!

  12. macegr says:

    Relax, it’s just a cute little example set up with very restricted parameters. No one is expecting this robot to ever actually be used to get books for anyone.

  13. chris says:

    The video of it using the grappling canon is much cooler.

  14. Jlkansascity says:

    Oh, great. Now all the libriarians will be out of work, replaced by a creeping horde of these little robots. This will put thousands of librarians and book store workers on the unemployment line!

  15. pooh says:

    this would be an awesome tool for a disabled individual. I can see were this can help someone be more independent.

  16. Motoma says:

    Wait…uh, what? A grappling hook? I want to see more of that in action.

  17. Hackius says:

    EPFL has some good projects recently.

  18. PocketBrain says:

    “We’re curious if this is a coincidence or not.”
    It’s probably pure coincidence. The grappling “tongue” is coincidence, too. Not to mention the big, non-functional googly chameleonesque eyes. Pure ko-inkeedink.
    I wonder if the grappler attaches itself? We never saw where that went.

  19. barry99705 says:

    I think he meant this. Kinda cool magnetic grappler.

  20. spector306 says:

    Well, that magnetic shot was pretty sweet.

    I wish they’d let it loose on a building and just see if it could climb to the top or how many stories it could go.

  21. hackist says:

    Wouldn’t elderly/disabled people find it easier to pick the book off the shelf than off the floor?

  22. Dudley Auila says:

    As a Newbie, I am often searching on the net for articles that will assistance me. Thank you

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