Robot submersibles are being used in a variety of ways for search and rescue operations and industrial mapping and scanning -- however, they are typically limited to the water.

Pliant Energy Systems has created a robot that can both swim in water using fins but also crawl onto land like a millipede.

Called Velox, the amphibious robot is capable of traversing sand, snow, ice and other solid substrates and is resistant to entanglement in plants or other debris.

The fins of the Velox are four-dimensional objects with a hyperbolic geometry that allows the robot to swim as well as crawl or slide like a snake. As an underwater robot, it can instantly reverse direction and do quick turns making it applicable for tasks such as coral reef inspection or dragon fish hunting where the craft must rapidly maneuver to look around or between objects.

Velox could also be used as an ice rescue robot for towing a rope and a life buoy to a victim who has fallen through ice, for professional divers to explore the sea or as a stand-alone thruster to replace propellers on craft in debris-filled waters.

The amphibious robot can be deployed away from shore and then navigate autonomously below the surface or through an acoustic modem link to surface craft. Velox can also provide live video feeds and data to surface craft, aerial drones or satellites in real-time.

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