Posted by : blogmania Saturday, 12 January 2013

iRobot’s FirstLook surveillance robot begs to be thrown

When they aren’t working on the latest Roomba vacuum, the team at iRobot make equipment for more aggressive use cases. iRobot actually manufactures quite a few things that aren’t vacuums, and in all shapes and sizes, too. One of those other robots is called the FirstLook, and it begs to be thrown.
FirstLook is a five pound surveillance robot with tank treads and small mechanical flippers to help ensure it doesn’t get stuck. It’s waterproof up to one meter and can be used in up to 130 degree environments. The little robot is specifically designed to be thrown into an unsafe building or hostile location in order to evaluate the situation or see if anyone needs to be rescued. There’s heavy emphasis put on the ability to throw this robot through windows or down flights of stairs on to hard surfaces and still have it perform as intended.
The remote control for the FirstLook resembles a ruggedized Wii U GamePad and is dominated by a 5-inch display. The resolution isn’t great at just 800 x 480, but it’s good enough to see through the eyes of the robot. In fact it has four eyes, with a camera positioned on each side, all of which have tilt and pan capabilities. Anyone piloting a FirstLook should be able to assess the robot’s location and surroundings easily before proceeding.
The average consumer isn’t the target market here, like many of iRobot’s crazy projects. We certainly won’t be able to throw our Roomba’s around and use them like little tanks anytime soon, but it is undeniably cool that robotics are headed in this direction for those times where it is just too dangerous to send a person into a hostile situation.
DARPA’s AlphaDog now capable of following humans

To watch the amazing vedio go to following URL:-

The robot known as AlphaDog has been in development for a number of years now, getting more efficient and life-like all the time. AlphaDog is a joint project from Boston Dynamics and the Pentagon’s DARPA. In this video, AlphaDog shows of its newest trick. It can now follow a human being across the terrain.
AlphaDog, or as it’s more properly known the Legged Squad Support System, is a 4-legged robotdesigned to walk for up to 20 miles at a time while carrying up to 400 pounds of gear. Until now, AlphaDog has been walking along pre-prescribed paths or with direct remote control. This limits the usefulness of the robot in the field. Now AlphaDog can just be told to follow the target like a faithful pet.
The operator carries a device called a Marine Corps Tactical Robot Controller. This touchscreen device can be used to issue commands to the robot, but is also used as beacon by AlphaDog. In following mode, the operator can change how close AlphaDog will walk.
AlphaDog is still a work in progress. The robot can only walk at 1-5mph, but it can climb up steep hills and roads. Boston Dynamics expects to boost that to 10mph soon. The version of AlphaDog shown off in the video has also become much quieter than the last iteration — about 10 times quieter, in fact.
The next step will be to have AlphaDog accompany Marines on some military exercises. In the future, DARPA would like to make AlphaDog voice enabled, so soldiers could talk to it and get verbal responses.
So just to sum this up; giant robot dog that can run 10mph, tracks humans, talks, and can run for 20 miles without stopping. Certainly this won’t come back to bite humanity.

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