A University of California, Santa Barbara professor has created a robot that is capable of scoping out an environment or building, using just Wi-Fi signals. In order for this to work, there needs to be two robots, with one broadcasting wireless transmissions to another robot positioned on the opposite end, which measures them.
Walls and objects within a building or house usually reduce the signal strength of Wi-Fi, but the receiver can distinguish between empty and occupied spaces to create an accurate map of the area. This isn't the first time that robots have been able to brag about x-ray vision superpowers, with the Cougar20-H surveillance robot from a few years ago that used a bunch of sensors to get the work done.
Researchers believe that in the near future, this type of technology will be used for search and rescue missions, where people could be trapped under rubble after an earthquake or explosion. The technology could also be advantageous in archaeological digs, too.