We’ll admit it is a bit of a gimmick, but [Adam Beedle’s] Spider-Bot did make us smile. The little robot can launch a “web” and use it to swing. It is hard to picture, but the video below will make it all clear. It can also use the cable to climb a wall, sort of.
The bot’s ability to fling a 3D printed hook on a tether is remarkable. Details are scarce, but it looks like the mechanism is spring-loaded with a servo motor to release it. Even trailing a bit of string behind it, the range of the hook is impressive and can support the weight of the robot when it winches itself up. There’s even a release mechanism that reminds us more of Batman than Spiderman.
If we were going full autonomous, we’d consider a vision system. On the other hand, you could probably tell a lot by the tension on the cable and some way to measure the angle of it coming out of the robot. If you come up with a practical use for any of this, we’d love to see it.