It was designed to demonstrate how an autonomous robot can implement path and motion-planning algorithms.
A paper about Treebot was presented recently at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (ICRA) in Shanghai.
It uses grippers and tactile sensors attached to its Slinky-style body to slowly move its front, then its back, up a trunk like an inchworm.
Although it lacks sophisticated sensors, Treebot can pick the best path to follow up a tree, and handle angled trunks, branches, and payloads of 3.8 pounds.
It can also climb different kinds of trees and various trunk diameters, even the smooth, slender trunks of bamboo.
In the sped-up video below, Treebot emits mechanical noises that make it sound like some sort of arboreal creature.
All it needs now is nest-building skills.
(Via IEEE Spectrum)