C-3PO is a lovable robot in the Star Wars movies, however he may become a lot more than that to us in the near future. They have created a robot that looks like C-3PO. Built at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, this humanoid robot stands 6ft and is 330 pounds of sensory computers, metal struts, joints and cables. His name is Atlas and they still have a lot of work to do on him. When Atlas works, it howls. A hydraulic compressor screams at a decibel level just below Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety limits. Its scary for some people who are working on it, and don’t go near it when it is operating.
Atlas is being put into a science competition where he will do numerous things such as driving, closing a valve, crossing a rubble field and climbing a staircase. A year later they will compete at more complex tasks for a $2 million prize. They have just two months until his competition, and they are not sure if they will remote control Atlas or if they will program him to do things autonomously. This sounds very exciting and I’m hoping that the WPI students can win this competition and have Atlas become something that could really change the world of robots in the future!
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