There's a pretty fascinating stuff. Robot designer Davide Faconti was working on a robot for DARPA's robotic design challenge, which had to be capable of "driving a vehicle, opening doors, climbing ladders, and using tools." But after working for a while on a humanoid robot, Faconti's team switched to an ape robot called the Silverback — that could walk on all fours, for added stability.

The robot design includes arm-guards, using a spring-loaded release mechanism, to protect its "hands" as it walks. Jason Falconer, one of the designers who worked on Faconti's team, has posted some of his renders for the Silverback robot — which sadly wasn't selected as a finalist in the DARPA challenge. It's pretty interesting to see the notion of simian, rather than humanoid, robot.

Check out some of the design renders below, and more at the link. [Plastic Pals, Thanks Poly Bug!]

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Earlier human design

Faconti's sketch of a simian robot

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Falconer's render of a simian robot