Thursday, January 14, 2016
Our Future in 2045 (part 4)
DARPA is also working on robotic designs that can take the place of humans in dangerous environments while performing complex tasks. Firemen may no longer need to risk themselves in burning buildings, Hazmat suits might not be necessary because robots will clean up chemical spills, and workers can send specialized robots into the radiated areas of nuclear power plants to prevent major catastrophes. These are just a few applications, but robots may extend our lives by doing the jobs that are hazardous to our health. The DARPA Robotics Challenge was issued in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, and participating robotics teams from all over the world had the difficult task of completing a complex course with their robots. The course included eight tasks relevant to disaster response, including driving unassisted, walking through rubble, tripping circuit breakers, climbing stairs and turning valves. Both Korea and the U.S. took home over $3.5 million in prizes.