Robots have been proven to be a valuable resource in disaster response, from helping find people trapped under rubble or cleaning up toxic areas after nuclear accidents or other natural disasters. Most importantly, robots in disaster relief can do the things humans cannot do or that may be too hazardous.
Enter Centauro. A four-legged Centaur-like robot that is capable of maneuvering over rough terrain and can withstand harsh conditions making it applicable for helping in disaster situations.
Centauro, which is a project at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), consists of four legs on wheels and an anthropomorphic upper body. It is driven by lightweight, compliant actuators that allow it to navigate man-made environments including inside buildings and stairs even if they are cluttered with debris or partially collapsed.
The robot comes equipped with cameras, computer vision sensors and LiDAR in its head in order to view its environment as well as to relay information back to its human operators. IIT said it may develop a full-body telepresence suit to be worn by a human operator that provides visual, auditory and upper body haptic feedback.
As a side ability, the Centauro can also karate chop wood — which may come in handy as a party trick or at a martial arts tournament.