Transforming robots not just science fiction

May 13, 2011 7:41:55 PM PDT
Robots that change shape and adapt their functions are not just science fiction. In a lab at UC Davis they already exist.

Graham Ryland came to UC Davis as a student. Now he's in business with his former professor Harry Cheng.

Three years into this project, the team has learned through experience that building robots is as complicated a mechanical discipline as mankind has ever attempted.

"Robotics is interdisciplinary theater. It combines mechanical, electrical, and software, basic computer science to make it work together," Cheng said.

Give it ten years, they say. Transformers? Not exactly. But transformational? We shall see.