Full of crap.
American boffins say they are poised to invent a new class of shape-shifting "soft bodied robots" which will manoeuvre - perhaps inside the human body - by mimicking the literally gut-wrenching means by which certain species of creepy-crawly get about. Assembled experts in the States have opened the door to a fearsome new class …
Full of crap.
Very much like the effect of a late night Vindaloo.
But why does the movie "Slither" pop into my mind when reading this?
If you can be found and rescued by caterpillars, you could probably rescue yourself.
Will it be thousands of normal-size caterpillars co-operating to carry you to safety, or one huge caterpillar that grabs you in its mandibles (or whatever caterpillars have). Either sounds pretty alarming.
These robots are designed to squeeze into small spaces. Presumably in order to retrieve you you'll also have to be capable (or MADE capable) of fitting through said small spaces, or torn into pieces of the correct size.
Either way theres going to be a fair old bit of healing required once rescue is complete.
The perv patrol at the airports must be just squirming with the anticipation of deploying such a new toy on the unsuspecting masses.
"Sir, you have been chosen at random for further security screening. We just need you to submit to a quick check by our drug sniffing, explosive chemical detecting robo-wurm. Now then, please step behind the curtain and remove your trousers."
Happened to me after a certain seafood of which I will never eat again in my life.
How good is this in reality? It looks quite simple to design a robotic dragonfly, until you think about the mechanics of four wings flapping at a humming speed, a million-odd beats in a day, totally in sync and reliable, with minor variations for up/down/turn/forward, running off a button cell. Suddenly the little bug becomes a monumental (perhaps currently insurmountable?) challenge.
So this gut-wiggling robo-bug. Is it energy efficient, doing that?
Of course it might be designed to mimic nature - and, er, live off the 'land'