You’d be surprised by how many of today’s day to day devices were first developed after its creators got inspired by various SciFi movies. A new project currently in works at DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) intends to bring the James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar” to real life. However, researchers there have been tasked to develop robot surrogates which binds to a soldier’s will, remotely located, and act as one. Oh, well, so much for 10 feet blue cat people.
The project, appropriately dubbed “Avatar”, seeks to “develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate,” to cite DARPA. These robot surrogates, if and ever operational, would be employed as sentries, combat casualty recovery and hazardous room clearing – all of these actions controlled by a human soldier counterpart, nested away at safety.
Some of you might consider this a joke, but April’s fools is still a long time away, and DARPA officials thought the prospect appealing enough to award $7 million in funding. DARPA, actually, has quite a few robot-related projects currently in development as well, like a four-legged machine, dubbed “AlphaDog”, which is basically a robotic pack mule used to carry heavy equipment for soldiers on the battle field.