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Walk-Man Sets the Bar High For Darpa's Robotics Challenge Finals


May 27, 2015

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An international group of researchers has developed the WALK-MAN robot to seamlessly operate in environments damaged by disasters.

WALK-MAN demonstrates unprecedented dexterity and strength that enable it to make Shaolin-inspired gestures, turn heavy valves, open doors, and drive a car. In addition, WALK-MAN can walk, crawl over uneven terrain, move heavy masonry, or manipulate pneumatic drills. The system can complete all of these tasks autonomously or by means of a remote control.

The robot's hands are based on human hands, combining robustness and adaptability to perfectly grasp and manipulate hand tools. WALK-MAN's head is equipped with a stereo vision system, a rotating three-dimensional (3D) laser scanner, and a depth camera for 3D mapping and sensing.

WALK-MAN will represent the European Union at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Robotics Challenge Finals on June 5-6. The winner of the challenge will be the robotic system that best showcases the ability to maneuver in degraded environments, manipulate tools designed for humans, and make decisions in partial autonomy based on operator command and sensor inputs.

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