The idea of wireless charging is all about the convenience of having the process take place just by putting your phone down. But the CaseCrawler aims to take things a step further. It is a phone case that lets your phone crawl towards a charging pad, so you don’t even have to put in on the pad itself.
This movement is possible thanks to the robotic legs of the CaseCrawler. Each leg has a knee joint like ours, and allows the legs to move the same way, propelling the case forward. And when not in use, they fold away neatly, flush against the case itself.
In its current state, it’s a lot chunkier to be a practical phone case. The CaseCrawler measures in at 24mm thick, but that’s without the motor housing. It weighs 82g on its own, but will be able to carry a phone that weighs 300g and still be capable of movement.
As it is now, the CaseCrawler is more robot than a phone case, and moves in quite the creepy manner to boot. For what it’s worth, the researchers that made it are still looking into ways to make it smaller, and give it more autonomy. And part of what they’re looking into is for it to use the battery power and sensors of the phone it is attached to.
(Source: IEEE Spectrum)