NASA does have some pretty cool toys that they have unveiled in the past, in addition to other events that have marked pivotal moments of history in the lives of humankind. Having said that, here we are with a brand new robot that will offer the flexibility of a yogi so that this unique robot will be able to be flexible enough for it to work in dangerous areas such as the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Daiichi of Japan that was knocked out of commission by the terrible tsunami and earthquake in 2011.
NASA is showing off a robot that brings a yogi’s flexibility to the delicate task of working in crippled nuclear power plants such as Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi, knocked out by a massive tsunami and earthquake in 2011. Nicknamed Surge (it’s officially known as Surrogate), the robot was designed by the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to be able to manipulate valves and switches in areas that are too hazardous for human workers. Packbot robots, made by U.S. robot manufacturer iRobot, were deployed to Fukushima Daiichi to gather radiation readings from inside the complex, but Surrogate could bring a more hands-on approach. About 1.4 meters tall and tipping the scales at 90.7 kilograms, Surge consists of two arms, sensors and a spine mounted on tank-like tracks, which allow it to move over small debris but not climb up stairs or a ladder. At the end of its arms are three-finger Robotiq grippers to manipulate objects. Aside from two cameras providing stereo vision, it has a head-mounted Velodyne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) that creates 3D maps of its environment.