Roboticists are beginning to make strides in bipedal robots. That along with limbs with artificial muscles, could one day become humanoids much like those we saw in sci-fi movies like I, Robot.

Italian Institute of Technology Flying Humanoid

But Sonny-like robot is far from reality. Notwithstanding that, the Artificial and Mechanical Intelligence Lab at the Italian Institute of Technology (Instituto Italiano di Technologia) is already researching the prospect of making Sonny fly. Well, not exactly Sonny, but a bipedal robot.

The iRonCub synthetic humanoid, as it is called, is pretty much the Richard Browning of the bipedal robot’s world. But why a flying humanoid? Well, when disaster strikes, the world designed for humans may not be human-friendly anymore.

Situations like damaged roads, or in the case of a landslide, impassable passage make getting to survivor difficult. This is where a humanoid that flies could in handy. So, yeah, the iRonCub synthetic humanoid is designed with first responders in mind. A stark contrast to Browning’s idea, IMHO.

Personally, I do not believe bipedal robot or humanoid alone is the future of first responders. It will be part of the future – that is if it could reach the standard of the fictional robots as seen in Alex Proyas’ I, Robot.

As far as search and rescue operations go, it may have to work with a myriad of other biomimicry robots, such as Sarcos Guardian S snake-like robot, the Pliant amphibious robot, and the transforming robotic snake that flies, for examples.

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Anyways, it is worthy to note that iRonCub isn’t the first bipedal robot to take to the skies; researchers in Caltech have introduced rotors to a tiny bipedal robot to help it to overcome obstacles.

Images: Italian Institute of Technology.

via Engadget.

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.