Check Out the Bomb-Defusal Robot That Can Be Controlled in Virtual Reality
Bomb disposal is one of the most frightening, high-pressure, high-risk jobs out there. It's as life-threatening as it is intricate and requires a highly specialized skill-set. For a few years now, robots have been developed to minimize the danger that such a task poses to humans, evaluating, taking apart, and disposing of explosive devices. One such robot is SRI's Taurus, which had to be manually controlled using 3-dimensional monitors. But that is about to change, as researchers at SRI have developed a method of controlling the bomb-disposal robot through virtual reality.
The operator uses Oculus Touches and pedals in order to carefully and artfully dispose of suspicious objects in real time. The hand motions of the operator are tracked and mimicked by the "hands" of the robot. According to Mark Baybutt, the associate R+D director of robotics at SRI International, "the sensation is very natural."