Researchers from the a created a hybrid, centaur robot with four wheeled legs and two front-facing arms that can aid in future search-and-rescue missions (it's also very fun to watch). The robot can pick up blocks, navigate through rubble, climb stairs or karate chop wood with its powerful arms. The Centauro stands at 1.5 meters tall, and weighs 93 kilograms. Its hybrid body structure means it’s both adaptable and tough, which is essential in search-and-rescue missions.
The Centauro is a “human-robot symbiotic system where a human operator is telepresent with its whole body in a Centaur-like robot, [capable] of robust locomotion and dexterous manipulation in the rough terrain and austere conditions characteristic of disasters." The robot is made out of a number of light-weight metals, with skins of 3D-printed plastic and a trio of computers inside to help it navigate, with a 2.5 hour battery life.
Centauro’s design was partly inspired by the , a centaur-like robot designed by engineers from the University of Bonn. The Momaro was a top European performer at the . Other top performers were also hybrid designs (the winning team built a robot that transformed from ).
What makes the Centauro especially effective is the flexility in its limbs. Each limb can rotate, which means that it can take on different postures for varied tasks, from crouching like a spider while operating tools, to an upright wheeled position for moving. It’s completely manually operated, and its future depends in part on the intuitive and effectiveness of its control interface.
(via / )