Thursday, September 10, 2015

Introducing HERMES, MIT's new Robot with human reflexes

Hermes, MIT's new Robot with human reflexes
Hermes, MIT's new Robot with human reflexes 

Robotics research has gone more and more advanced, but still there are lots of areas to improve on and development time are very long.

But, in MIT they took a different approach on the robotics development, they called their robot "Hermes" The robot they are developing will be deployed into disaster situations scenarios.  According to Joao Ramos PhD student at MIT "HERMES is a humanoid platform that we've been trying to develop in order to deploy into disaster situations scenarios. So you want to be able to deploy a human, but once it's too dangerous to deploy a human itself, we wanted to be able to deploy something that could do work as a human would be able to do."

Joao Ramos also said "I like to think about this project is that we're trying to put the human's brain inside the robot."  Meaning they want their robot to be controlled by a human operator which is more practical knowing that Artificial Intelligence and its mechanical components will be difficult to implement and it will take decades to develop.

"For humanoid robots or legged-robots in general, keeping balance is critical to being able to carry out any task.  We've decided to tackle this head-on by feeding the balance sensations on the robot back to the human as forces on his waist." Said Albert Wang another MIT PhD student who is involved in the project.  Again, another very practical solution for humanoid robot development, Japanese robot "Asimo" takes decades to perfect it's balance and foot movement and the money in the development is huge.

Albert Wang also added "That way we can take advantage of the natural reflexes and the learning capability of the human to be able to keep the robot balanced."

Hermes humanoid robot will be controlled via full-body suit or exoskeleton with sensors installed that detect movements and transform them into coordinates for the robot.  The idea is that the robot is going to follow the operator's movement with buttons responsible tor controlling the hands and grip.

For it's vision Hermes have a camera that fed back the images to its operator.  For now  the team is focusing on the practical functions of Hermes to work on scenarios that are too dangerous to be performed by humans like bomb disposal, nuclear accidents (like what happen in Japan Nuclear plant distroyed by tsunami) and other disaster scenarios.

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