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M_S
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Use for DARPA's Robot
M_S   7/23/2013 10:30:58 AM
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The author makes the comment regarding uses for this robot of "think Fukushima".  However, the robot is operated by electronics.  They would not last long in a highly radioactive location such as Fukushima.  It would be nice to be able to use it for something like that instead of exposing people to the radiation, but not very practical.

Luis Sanchez
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the next step...
Luis Sanchez   7/22/2013 11:18:22 PM
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Isn't the next step too obvious? Haven't you seen the transformers? The ideal robot would be a transformer. One which can transform from humanoid form to vehicle form to go at high speeds, reach it's objective, rescue the people and retrieve them to a safer spot. again in it's vehicle form. with a rescue bed and everything for the illed. Wow... cool!

Tom Murphy
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Re: This Atlas isn't shrugging
Tom Murphy   7/22/2013 7:59:59 PM
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Rick:  Well, it's the Pentagon...I think we can guess what tasks they have in mind.  Have you see Terminator?   You can bet Mr. Robbie's cousin is packin'.

Would it really make sense to have robot wars?  Or are we back on the path that leads to insanely wasteful military spending in a world with a lot of other problems?

Tom Murphy
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Re: MIT Biomemetric Lab
Tom Murphy   7/22/2013 7:57:20 PM
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KField:  Ok...now when you visited the robot lab at MIT, how many of them had a humanoid form factor?   Given your visit to the lab, does this Robbie-the-robot design make sense to you?

WKetel
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That sort of humanoid shaped robot.
WKetel   7/21/2013 9:49:17 PM
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The robot is shaped in that form because for the tasks that it would be doing that is the most efficient shape. Also, developing the process of achieving the goals is bound to be simpler if those writing the code and developing the moves can imagine a humanly possible set of moves. A different platform would require re-thinking and then arriving from a different point of view.. So the real reason is efficiency in process development. Sorry about the dissillusionment, folks.

rick merritt
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Author
This Atlas isn't shrugging
rick merritt   7/21/2013 5:48:08 PM
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Wow, I have not seen a humanoid robot with such a facility for walking and climbing. It's quite an amazing accomplisment and I share the wonder.

I also share concern about what helpful or harmful apps such a machine could be used for and curiousity about where it will be put to work.

Susan Rambo
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Re: MIT Biomemetric Lab
Susan Rambo   7/21/2013 3:11:00 PM
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MIT student's meshworm robot is amazingly indestructible. Thanks Karen for the video links to MIT Biomimetic Robotics Lab.

kfield
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MIT Biomemetric Lab
kfield   7/21/2013 2:26:36 PM
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I had the opportunity to visit MIT's Biomemetric Lab earlier this year, where they are developing some pretty amazing robots--from a worm robot to a cheetah robot. Check out these impressive videos:

http://biomimetics.mit.edu:8100/wordpress/videos/

 

 

Tom Murphy
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Re: Form Factor
Tom Murphy   7/19/2013 8:21:24 PM
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Well Bert, I like your spunk! But I don't think we can settle this without a good old fashioned robot fight. Or maybe we should have them compete in a decathlon -- yeah, I'd like to see that! 

Until then, I'm gonna stick with my theory that the Pentagon built this very traditional humanoid-style robot for show. Otherwise, I think we'd see it disarming bombs and hunting bad guys in Afghanistan, where the military relies on low-slung, wheeled contraptions for actual field ops. Or we'd see it on Mars, where the Rovers have done a marvelous job of crossing difficult terrain.

But maybe I'll go car shopping this weekend and see if there's a model that will carry me in its arms while trotting along at 80 mph.  It would certainly be easier to park if my car could climb trees.  ;-)

Bert22306
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CEO
Re: Form Factor
Bert22306   7/19/2013 7:44:48 PM
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Aha. So, why did we evolve into upright creatures? My answer would be, because it allows us to manipulate things with our arms and hands, even while we use our legs to move. We don't HAVE to dedicate all four appendages to motion, although of course we can. Other animals, those who aren't so flexible, like cats and dogs, need to use their mouths for things that we and other primates can do with our hands.

But our center of mass can easily be lowered all the way down to the ground, if we crawl low to the ground like soldiers do in training sometimes. Or what about rock climbing? The center of mass gets as close to the cliff as possible, and typically your arms and legs are used just for motion and traction.

Ditto for a robot of this form factor. No need to assume it can only operate by standing upright. If the robot were to be more like a bear, could you have it use its front paws as effectively and flexibly as we can use our arms?

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