Judging by the recent experiments that scientists make, it seems humanity’s ultimate goal for the 21st Century is to develop artificial intelligence that is capable of reproducing most human activities. Today we might be closer than ever to accomplishing this goal as scientists create Walk-Man, the first humanoid that can save lives.
The scientific endeavor belongs to researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology in Pisa. Like Galileo Galilei, who used the Leaning Tower of Pisa to test the velocity of falling objects, the Italian team of researchers used the campus of the University of Pisa to test the abilities of their noble humanoid, Walk-Man.
Judging by his physical traits, the gigantic robot would appear incapable of humanlike deeds to any of us. According to his inventors, the humanoid is 6 feet tall and weighs approximately 260 pounds. The span of its arms measures 2 meters and yet, the robot is incredibly delicate.
Walk-Man can carry out many of the tasks that most humans do, it can carry and use tools simply because it has hands and feet. These are the key features that allow scientists to operate the robot during dangerous missions where humans might get injured or killed.
There are many aspects where robots will actually exceed humans’ abilities. Walk-Man has been provided with a 3D laser scanner, so it can easily map its surrounding area. Moreover, the stereo vision system can be used to inform users of possible dangers that the robot is confronting with.
There are many missions that Walk-Man can partake. For starters, he can help rescue victims after a natural catastrophe when heavy lifting abilities are required. The robot can walk through all sorts of paths, be they even or uneven.
Researchers have stated that the robot can function very well on its own. However, they want human operators to be able to control Walk-Man, as there may be more difficult situations that require a person’s thinking ability. These pilots will control the robot from a distance, once they receive the data that the humanoid is transferring them.
Researchers will continue to test the performance and the abilities of the robot. Their next objective is to improve Walk-Man’s locomotion and balance. The humanoid will be introduced to the public during next June’s finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge.
Image source: www.iit.it