Da Vinci Surgical System
This robotic surgeon is currently being used to perform complex medical procedures in hospitals worldwide. The arms can hold objects and can also act as scalpels, scissors and electrosurgery equipment. Currently it requires a surgeon to operate remotely, however I expect in the future we’ll see these things being automated with artificial intelligence. If you’d like to perform your own surgery at home, you can get one of these machines to slice you into little pieces for a mere $2 million.
This bipedal robot developed by Boston Dynamics for DARPA is apparently designed for search and rescue tasks. It’s constructed of aircraft-grade materials and stands at 6 feet tall. Atlas can navigate rough terrain and climb using both its arms and legs. Boston Dynamics have also shown it can withstand being hit by projectiles and balance on one leg. I know they say it’s for search and rescue but for some reason it just reminds of The Terminator.
Developed by Honda in Japan, this is considered the most advanced humanoid robot to accurately mimic human activity. With impressive AI and humanoid motor functions, ASIMO can recognize moving objects, postures, gestures and its surrounding environment. It has the ability to distinguish between voices in a crowd and individual faces from a great distance. This robot can understand and communicate in multiple languages and it’s planned to use ASIMO as an assistant. You may even see him wandering around the offices at Honda’s headquarters.
These tiny robots are capable of flight by beating their wings 120 times a second. Having a wingspan of just a 3 cm, the RoboBee is the smallest man made device modeled on an insect that can fly. Currently they have no on-board power system, so need to be tethered with a wire. Researchers are currently working on a power supply to turn them into fully autonomous swarms of flying robots for applications such as search and rescue, artificial pollination and surveillance.
Another creepy child robot that was designed at the University of Zurich. ROBOY was crowd funded and the investors had their name or company engraved on the robot’s body, like corporate tattoos. Unlike traditional motor driven robots, ROBOY has artificial tendons, allowing for much more human-likemovements. His walking movements are nearly identical to a human and the skeletal structure is very similar. ROBOY is designed to one day be used as a helper robot for the sick and elderly.
The Legged Squad Support System. This DARPA project is for a legged robot which could function as an autonomous pack-horse for soldiers. The design is based on other previous models from Boston Dynamics like the BigDog and Cheetah. It can carry up to 400lbs of equipment and can sense and negotiate tough terrain easily and quietly. It can also run at up 38km/h or 24mph. I guess it’s only a matter of time before they attach a few machine guns and rockets to it.
Currently in development by NASA, this bipedal robot is being designed for various tasks and scenarios. These robots will be able to drive vehicles, clean up debris and cut through walls to help in human disasters. NASA will also likely send robots on space exploration mission to prepare the way for human explorers. When the humans arrive, they intend the robots and humans will work together, hand in hand.
Using a combination of robotics and telepresence, this robot is being designed to allow disabled police and military personnel to serve as patrol officers. I think that’s a great idea to allow those people to return to work and give a sense of freedom from their injuries. However I would probably change the design to be a little more discreet. They say that unlike RoboCop, this Telebot is notexpected to cause damage to life.
These unmanned ground vehicles are being used in Israel to combat and guard against invaders along the Gaza border. They can be either remotely operated by a soldier or switched into autonomous mode. The Guardium is equipped with an array of sensors, can travel up to 80km/h and has thick armor plating and both lethal and non-lethal weapons. They can work completely independently, without human interaction for up to 103 consecutive hours.
Throwbot Recon Scout
These micro-robots can travel across varied terrain, moving almost silently. They’re used mainly by soldiers to scout out high risk situations. The robot is equipped with a camera and microphone and can relay that information back to a display for the soldiers. As well as recon that can save lives, you could of course attach explosives or a grenade to it.