A DARPA robot was able to show off its dexterous two hands at a cost lower than $3,000, which is a major breakthrough in researchers’ aim to produce a robot that can mimic the human hands’ finer movements and at the same time, cost less than a fortune.
In a report by Phys Org, it said that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA is getting closer to its goal of producing a more flexible and efficient robotic system that will cost lower than the high price tags associated with such technology.
This research project has been looking for solutions to develop robotic hands that will somehow have the same fine movement as a human’s hand. They also want it to cost lower than the original $10,000 robotic hands developed last year by Sandia National Laboratories.
DARPA and its partners are now in the third phase of producing low-cost robot hands. The aim is still to produce robot hands with as much optimal dexterity as that of a human’s. There are two models: the first one has only three fingers while the second one has four fingers.
Although Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico was the one who produced the $10,000 robotic hands last year, it still partnered with DARPA in the hopes that it can develop low-cost robot hands. The other partner is iRobot of Bedford, Massachussetts.
Last month, Pentagon released a video of its DARPA robot. This is in part of its goal to develop cost-effective robots that can be used in military operations. In the video, the two-armed robot was seen using a tool to change a tire. Experts have since been impressed by the possibility of the robot developing the same fine movements of a human’s hand. Because of this, researchers wanted to produce a robot that has a more modest budget than that one created by Sandia Laboratories.
The Future of DARPA Robots
What the military aims for the robot to have is the ability to defuse bombs or inspect suspicious baggages. Instead of sending bomb technicians and putting their lives at risk, robots with ambidextrous hands will be able to do the job without that much danger and damage.
In fact, the DARPA robot might be able to follow the instructions of the soldiers through voice recognition. This means that it will no longer be remote control-operated. Equipped with cameras and sensors, this robot will be able to do more than just change tires (as shown in the video). A robot that can be manipulated and is aware of the situation around it can also aid the disabled and provide necessary assistance in ensuring the safety of establishments such as airports, malls and even government agencies.
If researchers and bot experts can truly manufacture a DARPA robot at a cost of less than $3,000, then that will open possibilities and opportunities for small factories and even households to purchase their very own ambidextrous robots. The future is slowly looking bright for robotic technology, which can boost operations in a number of fields such as military, manufacturing and even marketing and communications.