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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

AP: Robots ready for big test in South Florida



It'll be a while before you can buy one of these to help you around the house, but it's still pretty cool. A Defense Department competition at Homestead Miami Speedway will welcome 17 humanoid robots that will try to climb into vehicles, drive them, open doors — all things a person can do easily, but might not want to have to do in a disaster zone.

These aren't truly autonomous robots. They don't act on their own, instead being piloted remotely by human beings. For the sake of the competition, though, those people will be unable to watch what their robots are up to. They'll be behind a curtain, able to see only what the machine relays to them.

I know it's the geek in me speaking, but it'd be pretty cool to watch these things go through their paces. The practice runs don't exactly sound gripping, with the robots opening a door or attaching a hose to a faucet.

Still, it sounds more exciting that watching a Roomba.

[Last modified: Monday, December 16, 2013 2:07pm]


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