Founded in 1946 as the Stanford Research Institute, SRI is now a stand-alone nonprofit that specializes in doing research and development and then spinning that work off into start-up companies.
Today, SRI has more than 2,200 employees and more than 1,000 projects. More than 70 percent of its work is done on behalf of government customers, and it specializes in five discrete areas: bio--with an emphasis on drug development; information technology; physical science; education; and engineering systems.
One of the most exciting projects currently under way at SRI centers on what is known as electroadhesion, a technology that is meant to allow small objects--such as a simple robot--to adhere to just about any kind of surface, regardless of whether it's horizontal or vertical.
Seen here is one such robot, a working prototype that can climb a wall without any type of glue, grasping, or any other assistance. Instead, it relies on charged electrodes that create an attraction with the surface.
SRI is developing the technology with an eye toward consumer products, but there are many other types of applications that are being considered as well.
October 26, 2010 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: SRI
| Caption by: Daniel Terdiman
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