Whether we’re facing an apocalypse now or we’re simply assisting to the natural way of evolving by leaving our human traits and human fellows behind, to focus on a new way of transcending territories of life, we don’t know yet. Opinions on artificial intelligence vary while the concept gains terrain and robots are conceived with advanced traits and features.
Enlightened minds have faced a giant DARPA challenge, namely to create a humanoid robot that is as agile and as fast as a human adult. They have eventually designed a robot that acts more like a puppet which relies on a human operator for dexterity, balance and speed.
This sounds more like the reality depicted in a Sci-fi movie rather than the reality we live in. We’ve seen robots with lightning reflexes in motion pictures already, but the reality of such structures has been improbable until now.
The new robot offspring is called Hermes and it is controlled by a human pilot who wears an exosuit. As the human pilot moves his legs and arms, Hermes does it too. If Hermes trips on an obstacle, the human operator can react immediately and keep the robot standing on its two feet. Hermes is designed with perfect balance and lightning reflexes.
This is nevertheless great, as the robot can be used in crisis situations that are too dangerous for human intervention only. The robot has the advantage of using human-like abilities.
When and if the robot is prone to lose balance, the suit will push on the human wearer in the direction the robot is falling, so that they can immediately retaliate and push back or shift their feet as a response to the loss of balance. The continuously progressing system is very promising, although there are still many updates that need to be made.
A future version of Hermes will provide it with more autonomous functionalities. Of course the future will open new pathways which will allow a better design, capacities and functionalities for the robot but isn’t it that we’re concentrating too much on borrowing human traits to robots? The matter is extremely delicate and perspective over it must be extremely well considered, because artificial intelligence can someday take over humanity.
If we keep our focus on designing structures that can exclusively help us in crisis situations rather than replace our abilities to face and consider certain situations, the state of facts could be better handled. But as long as we focus on borrowing our unique traits to robots, we face certain perils.
The setup for Hermes offers the robot exactly the same lightning-quick reflexes as a human, without the need for an additional 10 years of robotics research.
The greatest advantage of Hermes is that it is able to go where humans can’t, such as inside a nuclear reactor after an extreme melt-down, performing rescue and repair operations in environments which could be fatal to humans.
Image Source: mecheconnects.mit.edu