A group of robotics researchers from the Biorobotics Laboratory at Seoul National University have turned a ‘crawling robot’ in the ‘CaseCrawler,’ a smartphone case that can crawl around your desk.
The pitch from researchers is the case could drag your phone to a nearby wireless charger to help top it up while you’re not using it. However, the current prototype is simply a crawling case — as simple as that can be.
The CaseCrawler impressively only adds about 16mm of bulk to your phone on the end that houses the electric motor. Gizmodo notes that the CaseCrawler could be streamlined and further miniaturized if put into production, but it’s already quite small for a prototype.
CaseCrawler includes a set up retractable legs with a one-way bending knee. This allows the legs to move the phone without getting in the way if, for example, it needs to crawl over a small object.
Further, the CaseCrawler can carry up to 300g, which is more than enough to haul most modern phones.
For now, CaseCrawler doesn’t have much intelligence of its own, nor can it steer. Perhaps in the future, a smartphone could provide the smarts for steering and sensors so it can find its away around.
The tech has more potential than just a tool for getting your phone to a nearby charging pad. For example, if you lose your phone, the legs could let it crawl back to you.