Researchers 3D-Printed a Cat Robot and It’s Creepy as Hell

Researchers 3D-Printed a Cat Robot and It’s Creepy as Hell
Image: Project Dyana

A team of researchers have been developing something our nightmares are made of – a large robot that moves and behaves like a cat. Despite this little guy being cute, if you don’t already have Megalophobia, you will now.

Megalophobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which a person experiences intense fear of large objects. See what we mean:

Researchers from ETH Zurich are behind the robot cat, which is being developed under Project Dyana.

Brought to our attention by 3D Printing Industry, the team have used 3D printing to build the autonomous cat-like robot that’s capable of imitating the movements of real-life felines.

Dyana’s vision is to build a “dynamic animatronic robot that bridges the gap between animatronics and mobile quadrupeds”. They reckon they can achieve this by combining the world of realistic (but fixed) animatronics and mobile (but technical) robotics to build a robot that “brings our cat-like character to life”.

The kitty bot has impact resistant thigh pads, which allow it to run freely. The cat robot is also able to enact computer-animated movements and has its own programmable ‘character’.

The cat robot project has four primary aspects:

  • Robotics to improving versatility in contrast to classical animatronics
  • Aesthetics via a bio-inspired exterior shell that creates the appearance of an animal-robot hybrid
  • Entertainment through dynamic locomotion and movement patterns to round off the life-like impression
  • Research to of course focus on innovation in compact, high-torque leg actuation and compliant mechanisms.

“Our vision is to bridge the gap between the imaginary world of digital animation and the real, physical world. Our goal is to build a robot that can mimic the movements and body language of a virtual character. To complement the development of our authentic character we will put a special emphasis on design.”

Despite the creepiness, what Project Dyana and their cat robot are doing is pretty darn cool. Wonder if Dyana will get along with Spot?