FuRo’s Halluc-II is one of the coolest robot/vehicle concepts I’ve ever come across. Like their Hallucigenia I, the Halluc-II takes its inspiration from an extinct creature from millions of years ago that had crazy tentacles and spines covering its body. Based on this, the Halluc-II has 8 wheels attached at the end of 8 robotic appendages with 7 DOF each. That makes for a total of 56 individual motors.
Like the Hallucigenia I, Halluc-II can move in any direction, but it also has some new features. It has 3 different movement modes: vehicle, animal, and insect. You really have to see the video to understand these different modes. Reconfiguring its leg positions, it has no problem traveling on uneven or debris-ridden terrain. Standing up on its legs, it can step over obstacles that regular vehicles wouldn’t be able to bypass.
The front-mounted camera allows an operator to drive it remotely as if he/she were actually in the driver’s seat using the Hull. With a manipulator in each hand, the operator sits inside a large hemispherical projection screen (looking a little like Darth Vader’s incubator) which provides a 180 degree view. And if that isn’t cool enough, this technology is being developed so that it can be put to use in real vehicles.
In particular, Nissan is working with fuRo on a concept that makes use of this technology. They expect that in the next 5 to 10 years the ultimate wheelchair could be developed, but the possibilities are wide open for all sorts of things. Even as it is now, the Halluc II could be used as a reconnaissance vehicle in a disaster zone, going where humans cannot. With its ability to move over rough terrain and climb over small obstacles, it might help to find people buried after an earthquake.
- fuRo Halluc-II info page (Japanese)
- Leading Edge Design’s Halluc-II portfolio page (English)
- fuRo’s official blog (Japanese)
- Halluc-II @ Impress Robot Watch (JP) (2) (3) (4) (5)
Impress Robot Watch