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Researchers at the Chiba Institute of Technology unveiled a working prototype of the Halluc II, a robotic vehicle with eight wheels and legs designed to drive or walk over rugged terrain.
The agile robot, which the developers aim to put into practical use within the next five years, can move sideways, turn around in place and drive or walk over a wide range of obstacles.
The operator can put Halluc II into one of three modes depending on the terrain — Vehicle, Insect or Animal mode. In Vehicle mode, Halluc II drives around on its eight wheels, and as it moves over uneven surfaces, each of the legs moves up and down in sync with the terrain to provide a smooth ride that keeps the cab at a constant height. In Insect mode, Halluc II does not use the wheels; instead, it walks with an insect-like gait, with its legs extended outward from the cab. In Animal mode, Halluc II keeps its legs directly beneath the cab while it walks, allowing it to pass through tight spaces.