Right this way — it's the incredible bionic hamster!
Well, almost. The good folks at iRobot, makers of Roomba vacuum cleaners and several military robots, have created a machine that's navigated not by robotic software, but a hamster franctically spinning in a ball.
"By running in the sphere, the hamster controls where the robot moves and the robot's speed," reads the explanation on the iRobot Web site.
Even though iRobot's own engineers call it a "silly idea," the YouTube video is fun to watch.
"So all we gotta do is rip off the music from the Hamster Dance, post this on YouTube, and we are straight to the top," one of the chuckling developers jokes.
If you'd like to replicate the experiment with your own rotating rodent, iRobot sells three different "Create" robots aimed especially at hackers and tinkerers.