If you have ever wondered when the world would finally begin looking like the futuristic movie Back to the Future 2, then you are in for a treat! Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology have completed testing on their new humanoid robot named “WALK-MAN.” This robot has been engineered to be lightweight, sturdy, and have hands that are like human hands (it can move its fingers).
Why would it need to have these traits? Because this robot will be going where humans cannot…into disasters! WALK-MAN was tested in a simulated industrial plant that had been damaged by an earthquake. This simulation was designed with gas leaks and fires that would be too dangerous for humans. However, WALK‑MAN passed with flying colors! He opened doors, navigated around the damaged simulation, and located the source of the gas leak and closed the valve. He even removed debris, found the fire extinguisher, and put out the fire.
This robot has cameras for eyes and ears and has a sensor-equipped suit that helps it act as an avatar for the person controlling it. While the person at the helm controls the robot, WALK-MAN can balance on his own and has a battery life of two hours—long enough to move inside a dangerous building and get out.
So, what is next for the world’s new favorite robot? The next steps are to add chemical sensors so it can detect toxic gases and make the robot faster so it can execute life-saving duties as quickly as possible in those two hours. We cannot wait to see what happens next with WALK-MAN.
We think these technology advancements are out of sight! Don’t you agree?
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First published in our October 2020 IT Radix Resource newsletter