The future is here and the time is now. The future has been unfolding with each scientific discovery and every technological breakthrough. Between phones that seem to have no limitation, to flying cars, this year seems to be geared to changing the way we live including the way how interact. Humanoid robots such as Sophia are changing the landscape for what Artificial Intelligence robots are capable of. Sophia obtained her citizenship in Saudi Arabia and is now a part of the United Nations speaking on behalf of society standing up for human rights in different countries. For this reason, it is no surprise that the humanoid world is at the front of everyone’s mind to try and figure out what we will create next. Well IT GURUS OF ATLANTA has what’s next, and its call the WALK-MAN.
Yes, WALK-MAN is the popular name of the music player that rocked the world in the 80’s and 90’s that everyone could carry their music with them and not have to worry about a large boom box or radio. But that is not the WALK-MAN we are talking about. This WALK-MAN was invented by The Italian Institute of Technology or commonly called IIT. IIT has released several videos that highlights WALK-MAN’s capabilities during an emergency or a disaster. These critical features add value and time to when rescuers cant enter a building or when there is too much risk involved for a rescuer to get injured. In one of the videos, it shows WALK-MAN navigating an industrial plant after an earthquake. The room that WALK-MAN navigates through serves as an example if the room had fire and a gas leak.
During the video WALK-MAN is tasked with performing very specific tasks such as opening the door to enter the room, closes an open valve for the gas leak, moving debris, and then finally using a fire extinguisher to put out flames. A lot to do, well not if you are WALK-MAN who went through the exercise with ease and precision. In time WALK-MAN is slated to be one of the most revolutionary robots which will be able to assist humans during their most dire time of need, which is an emergency.
This is not the first time that IIT has tried to unveil WALK-MAN, but their second time. Their first premier of WALK-MAN happened in 2015. Between 2015 and now being 2018, there has been some notable differences that “upgrades” WALK-MAN in terms of he moves, what it conceives as a threat, and its overall capabilities. The new version of WALK-MAN is much lighter and not as bulky as its original version in 2015. The body is 1.85 meters (6 foot) tall, weighs 102 kilos (226 pounds), and can carry up to 22 pounds in each arm. The new sleeker design increases the robot’s ability and performance while cutting down on energy usage. WALK-MAN can operate up to 2hrs using a 1 kWh battery.
Being fully autonomous is not a capability of WALK-MAN yet. Currently controlling WALK-MAN is through human being wearing a suit with sensors to depict movement and actions. This accounts for 80% of the actions taken by WALK-MAN. Autonomy is on the table according to Tsagarakis, who is the project lead over WALK-MAN. He believes that it is essential to cut down on time that would normally be used by a human to decipher what to do. When WALK-MAN does become fully autonomous, then it will surely change the way we do rescues including save countless lives.
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