Courier Mail via news.com.au (October 30, 2009)
"engineers have taken us one step closer to the robot revolution by developing a machine inspired by the movie Aliens. ["Aliens" (1986)]
"The Dual-Arm Power Amplification Robot gives users superhuman strength and resembles the hydraulic exoskeleton ... in the climactic scene of the sci-fi classic.
"The robot is being developed for disaster relief situations and can lift more than 100kg.
"However it weighs 230kg – heavy enough to crush the average human without support...."
The DAPA "robot" isn't so much a robot as a waldo - a machine where every movement is controlled by a human being.
"...The robot, dubbed the "Power Loader" after its Hollywood counterpart, uses 18 electromagnetic motors with direct force feedback that allow the human operator to control its behaviour.
" 'Most robot researchers think that robots should move as automatically as possible with very little human instruction,' Mr Shirogauchi said.
" 'What we are developing is a robot which moves only when an instruction is given from a human and moves exactly according to that instruction.'..."
pinktentacle3, YouTube (September 30, 2009)
DAPA looks like it could be very useful in emergencies: and be as useful as Jaws of Life and other hydraulic rescue tools. And, as the technology improves, something like DAPA could take the place of skid loaders.
At this point, having a human being in direct control of this sort of machine makes sense. On the other hand, particularly considering what happened on Flight 188, it may be time to re-think the idea that humans are the best, most reliable, operators for machinery. (October 23, 2009)
- "Northwest Flight 188: Distracted by a Laptop?!"
(October 26, 2009)
- "Northwest Flight 188 Overshoots MSP - Time to Reconsider Humans on Flight Crews?"
(October 23, 2009)