When we imagine the #robots of the #future, they often look and move like humans, standing up on two legs and using a pair of arms to grab and move objects. #NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is working on a different kind of robot for disaster response that's designed to move like an ape.
Headless but covered with seven cameras that act as "eyes," the #RobotSimian has four identical limbs that do double duty as arms and legs. Together, they ably move the robot across rough terrain and rubble but can also pick up and manipulate objects. It has wheels it can coast on if the surface is smooth enough.
The RoboSimian is JPL's final entry into the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a 27-month-long competition among some of the world's top robotic talent to create an emergency response robot. In situations such as a nuclear disaster, one of these robots could go into environments too dangerous for human rescue workers and execute simple tasks such as lifting debris off survivors or turning off a valve.