Japanese bridge inspection robot has magnetic wheels

Most wall-climbing robots rely on advanced forms of suction to keep them adhered to a flat surface, but Japan’s latest wall crawler employs a different method: magnets. Hailing from the Osaka City University Graduate School of Engineering, BIREM is designed to, as the name suggests, inspect bridges.

Here’s what we all long to see — a robot crawling along the ceiling. That may or may not give you goosebumps. But if you’re an engineer, a magnetic wall-crawler developed at Osaka City University in Japan could prove useful when inspecting bridges and other structures. The awkwardly named Bridge Inspection Robot Equipping Magnets (BIREM) can move as fast as 7.8 inches per second. Imagine that skittering up your wall.

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