Cassie: Robot could aid search and res­cue work and save lives

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TECHNEWS! -

Re­searchers hope to per­fect the de­sign so the robot can en­ter dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions and save fire­fight­ers from risk­ing their lives.

Re­searchers have been putting a new robot through rounds of de­mand­ing tests to get it ready to help search and res­cue ef­forts.

Named af­ter the flight­less cas­sowary bird, Cassie is a bipedal robot weigh­ing 66lbs (29.94kg) and stand­ing a lit­tle over a me­tre tall (3.25ft) at full leg ex­ten­sion.

The robot was built by Agility Robotics based in Ore­gon and pur­chased by Univer­sity of Michi­gan (UoM) re­searchers us­ing grant money from the Na­tional Sci­ence Foun­da­tion and Toy­ota Re­search In­sti­tute.

Cassie is a break­through tech­nol­ogy ac­cord­ing to Jessy Griz­zle, the di­rec­tor of Michi­gan Robotics, who said: "This stuff makes our old math look like child's p l ay."

Jonathan Hurst, an as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor of robotics at Ore­gon State Univer­sity (OSU), said: "This tech­nol­ogy will sim­ply ex­plode at some point, when we cre­ate ve­hi­cles so au­to­mated and ro­bots so ef­fi­cient that de­liv­er­ies and ship­ments are al­most free.""Quite sim­ply, ro­bots with legs can go a lot of places that wheels can­not," said Mr Hurst, who is also the chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer at Agility Robotics.

"This will be the key to de­liv­er­ies that can be made 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by a fleet of au­ton­o­mous vans that pull up to your curb, and an on board robot that de­liv­ers to your doorstep."

The end goal is to per­fect Cassie's de­sign so the robot could en­ter dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions and save fire­fight­ers from risk­ing their lives.

Search-and-res­cue "is a hard prob­lem and serves as a tem­plate for 'un­solved prob­lems in robotics,' which is one of the rea­sons you see it pop up so much when robotics com­pa­nies talk about ap­pli­ca­tions," said Damion Shel­ton.

Mr Shel­ton, who is the CEO of Agility Robotics, said it is "dif­fi­cult to even spec­u­late" when a robot could be used for such a pur­pose.

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