China is among the first countries to begin their implementation of security robots. The robots will be patrolling the Congqing district in China, and was built by the National Defence University. The robot has been named 'AnBot' and weighs in at a staggering 78 kilograms. It can travel at 11 miles per hour and stands at 1.5 meters tall. The university says that the robot also has anti-terrorism and anti-riot measures. It is also allegedly capable of eight hours of "continuous work".
Xiao Xiangjiang from China's National University of Defense Technology said: "AnBot has a high degree of autonomy, it could patrol, avoid obstacles and identify and charge on its own."
Edward Snowden gave his sarcastic two cents about the robot, saying: "Surely this will end well."
Elsewhere in the robotics world, engineers have been working on dexterity in robot arms and limbs. RE2's Robotics High Dexterous Manipulation System, according to Daily Mail, can tie knots, open zips, make balloon animals and more. RE2 is a company in the United States and maintain that their dexterous robots could one day be the helper around the house everyone has been searching for. And the replacement of clowns at kids parties, evidently. Kidding aside, the company is also certain that it will be able to form part of the ever-growing list of robots that are assisting hospitals in their surgeries today and could attempt to diffuse potential bomb threats.
Bloomberg, however, maintains the most innovative and future-ready work in robotics is happening in MIT. They sat down with MIT computer science and A.I. lab professors John Leonard and Daniella Rus.
Leonard talking about the work they do in robotics said: "I think there's something special in the air at MIT, it's a very interdisciplinary culture. I'm in mechanical engineering, Daniella is in computer science, we work across boundaries between fields to work together to create systems that combine the best multiple disciplines and a robot is one of the best embodiments of that."
The MIT professors are hoping that in the next five years they would have made robots more intelligent, building robots faster and making robots and humans work alongside each other even more so than they are doing already. "In five years I think having a car that is much more highly automated that will impact your life," Leonard said. The professors also showed off a fully 3D printed robot that was ready to operate by just adding a battery and a motor.
NASA will also be utilizing MIT's robotics testing facilities after they gifted the university two of their Valkyrie humanoid robots to play around with. NASA's intention is to measure the feasibility of taking the robots to Mars and then letting the robots do tasks that would've required manpower in the past. Russ Tedrake, who is leading the project said: "Our work is about vetting the robot and seeing what is capable of. If we can integrate the autonomy work with our planning and control algorithms, it could result in an unprecedented level of autonomous capabilities for a humanoid robot." [Via: MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory]
Here the teams at MIT assemble the humanoid: