Researchers at MIT have built a robot with subtle, human reflexes

Robots might be the future of, well, everything — but they still have trouble pulling off some of the more subtle things that make us mere mortals so unique. Well, a team at MIT is one step closer to making us all obsolete.

Researchers from MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering have designed an interface that takes advantage of a human's split-second reflexes, allowing a humanoid to maintain its balance and complete tasks. The project was developed as part of DARPA’s rescue robot challenge, which is aiming to develop robots with the versatility and sensitivity to handle complex tasks in case of emergencies (i.e. shutting off valves in a leaking nuclear reactor, disarming a bomb more efficiently). 

The robe-arms are controlled by a human operator, and the tests find the arms sensitive and reactive enough to effectively pour a cup of of coffee, and operate a handheld power drill. Relatively simple tasks for humans, sure, but extremely complicated (and subtle) operations for a machine. Yep, we’re one step closer to a robo-barista. Maybe Skynet can actually spell your name correctly on the side of the cup.

Check out the robot in action below and let us know what you think:


(Via Popular Science)

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