Sangbae Kim of MIT with his animal like robotsClick image to enlarge

When we envision the factory of the future, we typically think of human-like robots. But for some, that vision of the future includes robotic animals.

Mechanical engineer Sangbae Kim, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, and his team are working on four-legged dog-like robots that could become first responders to disaster zones, but could also be used in industrial dangerous environments where conventional human-like robots might not be practical.

MITs robotic cheetah in actionClick image to enlarge

See MIT's robotic cheetah in action here.

According to an online MIT article, Kim and his team are borrowing principles from biomechanics, human decision making and mechanical design to build a service robot that Kim says will eventually be able to do real, physical work, such as opening doors, breaking through walls, or closing valves.

“Say there are toxic gases leaking in a building, and you need to close a valve inside, but it’s dangerous to send people in,” Kim says. “Now, there is no single robot that can do this kind of job. I want to create a robotic first responder that can potentially do more than a human and help in our lives," he states in the online article.

To read the full article, visit MIT online.

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