Researchers unveil slimmer, quicker humanoid robot (VIDEO)

The Walk-Man project aims to build a robot that can operate in human environments. — Screen capture via Reuters video
The Walk-Man project aims to build a robot that can operate in human environments. — Screen capture via Reuters video

NEW YORK, March 9 — Making an entrance — the new, improved Walk-Man humanoid robot.

Designed as a robotic emergency responder, Walk-Man has passed several lab tests, guided by its human operator.

These included entering a hazardous room, turning a valve to stop a mock gas leak, clearing debis in its path and, finally, activating a fire extinguisher.

The Walk-Man project aims to build a robot that can operate in human environments.

It was demoed for Reuters in 2015.

“Our environment it was designed for our body basically. So, we have tools that are designed to be grasped by humanoid, human hands. You have also areas or access paths that are actually appropriate for our body forms. So it means that if you build a robot that has a very similar form, you need to adapt less the environment in order to have this robot operational within such a space,” Nikos Tsagarakis, IIT senior researcher and Walk-Man project co-ordinator and scientific co-ordinator, said.

The new, slimmed-down Walk-Man is more than 30kg lighter, so it can move faster and with more stability.

Six feet tall and controlled by 32 engines, it has 4 force and torque sensors at the hands and feet, while 2 accelerometers control its balance.

Funded by the European Commission, the Walk-Man project is in its final validation phase. — Reuters

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