Bipedal Walking Robot For Unstructured Urban Environments

A bipedal walking robot under development at Bucknell University in conjunction with investigators from the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition has received a boost - $1.2 million in additional funding.

(Bipedal Walking Robot For Unstructured Urban Environments)

The intent is to develop a robot that walks like a man through 'unstructured' urban environments.

'Unstructured' as in totally destroyed when SkyNet takes over? This kind of bipedal robot is the direct ancestor of the walking Terminators, particularly the early versions shown in the first part of the film.

Bucknell researchers are oblivious to the coming robot apocalypse:

Keith Buffinton, professor and department chair of mechanical engineering, who, along with Steven Shooter, professor of mechanical engineering, are lead project researchers, said, “Obviously, we are very excited to receive funding to continue work on this project and to continue our collaboration with the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.”

“It would have various purposes,” said Buffinton. “It could be used for surveillance and to gather information in areas you would not want to risk human life. It could be used in mine disasters. In the case of the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York, rescuers faced working in extremely dangerous conditions and toxic air. Robots could do more to take the risk from humans.”

In the same vein, readers may want to refresh their knowledge of the PETMAN sweating robot and of course Sweatbot SAM - Sweating Agile Manniquin, keeping in mind this quote from the original Terminator film: "...These [robots] are new. They look human. Sweat, bad breath, everything…."

Read more at Bucknell University and Design of a bipedal walking robot (pdf); thanks to Moira for the tip (a while ago) but I didn't want to write the story until I had seen the movie!

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/2/2009)

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