My most recent robotic invention is a "robotizing" implant inserted into the brain of a human. Sort of like the "Borg", only more robotic and much less tribal. The biggest advantage is in the range of motions and in the coordination. The downside is that the strength is not as great.
It may very well be that no single robot can live up to the challenge. But, one nice thing about robots is that we can make allowances for that. I wonder if it would be within the rules to have a "carrier" of sorts. One big robot that has a few separable smaller specialized robots. It could have the little snake bot for going through small holes or maybe a quadcopter for flying over impassible debris.
DARPA is certainly triggering many creative projects with their ongoing challenges. I wonder how "out of the box" solutions fare under such guidelines. Will the "search and rescue snake" that crawls through small holes have a chance against a human sized robot that can walk through doorways and carry out a victim? They each solve important problems.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.