Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

A Humanoid Robot Could Come to Your Rescue During a Disaster

The Italian Institute of Technology has been developing a humanoid disaster robot called the WALK-MAN. The main purpose of the robot is to help humans in disaster situations, and after years of development it’s is one step closer to fulfilling that as it’s in the final validation phase. Though the robot WALK-MAN isn’t fully autonomous, it functions by a human wearing a suit equipped with sensors which controls about 80 percent of its actions. The robot is put through series of tests as it navigates a disaster scenario designed to mimic an industrial plant following an earthquake, moving debris and putting out a hypothetical fire. With technology continuing to evolve the robot could eventually be helping in future disasters.

With the things we see from Boston Dynamics and their robots, to Sophia the robot with its advanced artificial intelligence it’s scary to think about how these things can evolve when eventually they come as one. Similar to the movie iRobot where artificially intelligent humanoid robots are serving humanity, this could be something in the foreseeable future. What do you guys think? Does having humanoid robots working alongside humanity is a good thing or not? How far should we go in giving them a mind of their own?

A Six-Foot Tall Humanoid Robot

2 Responses to A Humanoid Robot Could Come to Your Rescue During a Disaster

  • I believe that utilizing a human controlled robot in a disaster situation could potentially save many lives of those in distress and prevent many deaths of first responders. Using the example provided in your post, if an earthquake were to happen, the debris is usually unsafe to navigate and aftershock earthquakes are common. Sending a controlled robot to search the affected areas only put a piece of technology at risk, rather than a human life. If this technology is adapted to other disaster situations, such as an avalanche or fire, rescues could potentially be “human-free”, increasing rescue efficiency, speed, and safety.

  • Hello Jose,

    I thin the ability to have robots readily available in disasterous situations could prove beneficial in these situations. If artificial intelligence were to grow where they can learn and move on their own, humans would no longer be put in dangerous situations. They would be able to not be harmed like a human would be in the situtions and with increase speed, power, resistance, and knowledge, they would help disaster situations in a big way.

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