The creation of robots to replicate human activities is a relatively tough task – as shown in the recent DARPA robotics challenge – but a group of researchers at MIT have integrated a closer human contribution to a robot they are creating.
The MIT-designed robot works like a puppet which relies on a human controller for the robot’s dexterity, speed and balance. The human controller will wear an exoskeleton, which provides him or her with feedback on what the robot is doing and feeling.
Along with the exoskeleton suit, the controller will also wear a pair of LCD telepresence goggles.
Unlike other robots created in the past, the new robot is completely dependent on the human for control, which means it can’t move on its own and can’t control its own movements in any way.
The good side to this is, the very high levels of accuracy and dexterity for the robot. This quality of movement that will be given by the robot is attributable to the force feedback system, which allows the human controller to feel and respond to the forces applied to the robot.
This also means that the bot’s movement can be closely similar to the quick reflexes of human, so a human-controlled robot could be the first to help humans in an emergency situation.