Robotic Hermes Shares a Sensor-Based Nervous System With its Human Operator

Published by , August 18, 2015 11:30 am

(TechGenMag) — The humanoid robotic life form named Hermes is being honed by MIT’s department of mechanical engineering to perform complex tasks in hazardous zones that humans cannot survive. Designed for nuclear power plant meltdowns and other disaster scenarios, Hermes has the fine motor skills to pour coffee with gentile delicacy and also the physical power to punch holes through walls. Hermes inventor Joao Ramos created a shared nervous system through an innovative use of sensors that allow him to feel Hermes as an extension of himself. As Hermes moves, Ramos senses him through his body harness (mesh suit) and corrects his balance. Any physical impact on Hermes is reported back to Ramos as well. What has been created here is a human/robotic sensory coupling, akin to virtual reality — in reality, with Ramos in real-time command as the brain.

Hermes may one day be able to accomplish heroic deeds thanks to his creators. Hermes has to be able to axe down doors and jump over obstacles as well as do intricate manual work. He also has to send sensory information back to the human pilot in the form of visuals and spatial positioning data. This is necessary not just for observation of the situation in the disaster zone, but also to keep him balanced and moving correctly.

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