Robots and humans have a bit of a sordid past. While their purpose was always to help us, on more than one occasion, they have done the opposite. From glitches that erase important documents to Roomba's smearing dog poop on your living room floor, there is no telling how bad a robot can screw up your day. However, with the progression of technology in recent years, engineers and developers have been able to create a few robots that are designed to save human lives. And it's pretty hard to mess that up.
From spider legs to convey belt arms, these robots are equipped with the tech, the experience, and the superhero intuition to save lives in an instant. They can do everything from climb stairs to withstand falls. Basically, they can perform all the basic tasks needed to mitigate a crisis situation. Check out a few of the most protective models out so far:
This rolling rescue robot from Sandia Labs is designed to make mining rescue missions a little less stressful for humans. With it's heavy duty wheels, hi-tech surveillance equipment, and payload storage area, it can evaluated hazardous conditions, provide feedback, and even deliver supplies to miners in need of rescue.
This creepy little guy is anything but creepy and little. The 285-pound spider-like robot from JPL Robotics is equipped with simian inspired limbs that can move, rotate, plant and save humans lives. Designed as a crisis relief robot, RoboSimian is capable of both mobility and manipulation, to achieve passively stable stances; establish multi-point anchored connections to supports such as ladders, railings, and stair treads; and brace itself during forceful manipulation operations.
Buddy is a friendly-looking, 3D printed robot from Grit Robotics that is designed to withstand a truly unprecedented amount of radiation. Designed to go where humans can't, like a nuclear plant in the middle of a meltdown, Buddy is equipped with four legs, two arms, and ten working fingers that can do everything from push buttons to grab levers. Perhaps most unique is his means of sight, the LIDAR “eye,” which measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light.
Photo: Flickr / Sandia Labs