Aid workers? Rescue teams? Those are so last year. The US Defense Department is looking to the future by commissioning a 6 foot, 2 inches tall humanoid robot.
In the annals of history, where terrible tragedies of earthquakes, tsunamis and other unavoidable disasters took over the world in an instant, the efforts to provide aid and support have always been boosted by the skill of aid workers and just how effective their tools are. Should things hit the fan, a la 2012 (the movie, not the year), you’d want the best to save you. While technological capabilities are multiplying by the masses every year thanks to Moore’s law, we’re not quite at the level of full robot rescue teams replacing brave humans just yet, but with a new 6”2 tall humanoid robot that’s just been commissioned by the US Government, we’re not too far off.
The name of the robot in question, is “Atlas”, though, weighing in at 290 pounds and being described as “one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built”, this humanoid creation is a certifiable heavyweight. Atlas, and the 28 hydraulic parts that are included in its make up, are taking part in a contest ran by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a wing of the US Defense Department.
The “advanced” in that description of Atlas in part comes from the robot’s advanced balancing capabilities for one, which make it incredibly hard to knock over and also allows it to walk along just like a human, making it sturdy and reliable. And while the terminator resembling creation might be able to make a name for itself on the battlefield, the aforementioned contest by DARPA set teams the challenge of producing the best humanoid software that they could for Atlas, in order for the robot to aid in disaster relief, for a chance to win $2 million in prize money. So it’s entirely likely that you’ll see programmed versions of Atlas on the news working right there to save lives.
Watch a video of Atlas in action below.
Source : DARPA