Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Robot Watch-Claw


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Bridge inspectors will be able to abandon their precarious ropes and scaffolding when they work with ROMA. This climbing robot, built by Carlos Balaguer, Mohamed Abderrahim, and their fellow engineers at the Carlos III University of Madrid, nimbly navigates steel I-beams on bridges and sends back video to a human sitting safely on the ground.

ROMA has two arms with pincerlike grippers. The robot can turn corners by pivoting its whole body on its wrist, or flip one arm up sideways to grab a column and clamber upward. A built-in map of the structure, along with laser and camera sensors, makes sure every step is secure. Future versions of ROMA will be able to automatically find and report cracks or corrosion, and stay on the bridge for long periods of time.

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In