Pierrot Durand frenchtribune.com Scientists have developed a humanoid robot that is empowered to cross rough terrain. The best thing about the robot is that it can maintain its balance on one leg even when hit from the side. WildCat is the latest creation of Boston Dynamics, a US robotics company part-funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The robot is a part of Darpa's Maximum Mobility and Manipulation programme. Darpa said it becomes easy to perform defense operations with the help of such robots that can amplify human effectiveness for herculean tasks. Noel Sharkey, professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield, told the BBC that the achievement is astonishing and a remarkable feat. Prof. Sharkey, who is also chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, said, "We do not know what military purpose it will serve but certainly it is a step towards a high-speed ground robot that could be weaponised to hunt and kill". Boston Dynamics is developing seventh version of Atlas in response to the Darpa Robotics Challenge. Robots will be competing in December to perform eight tasks to test their potential for use in emergency-response situations. The tasks will also include crossing uneven ground, using power tools and driving a rescue vehicle.
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