A more stealthy robot may be hearing you soonMarch 23rd, 2011 by Katie Gatto in Technology / Robotics
(PhysOrg.com) -- Stealth is a trait that few of us posses naturally. Most of us are really kind of obvious as we walk down the street or sashay through the halls of the office. That is why people who are trying to be sneaky have designed all kinds of stealth means of conveyance, from cars to bomb dropping fighter jets, and now robots.
That is right. A new generation of sneaky bots were unleashed on the world today when researchers at Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Laboratory showed off a robot that is designed to be super stealthy around humans.
The bot is more than just small, and quiet, two factors that make it much harder to spot than a humanoid model. The robot, which does not seem to have a name at this time, hopes to be stealth by understanding how humans perceive the world around them, and making a series of educated guesses. The bot listens for sounds of human activity and the based on those sounds, and some clever programming, makes a guess as to where the humans might be looking. Then, if it needs to, the robot will find itself a dark hiding spot.
Of course, the obvious question is, how does the robot know where it is, let alone where you are? Well our little mechanized friend is equipped with a 3D laser scanner that allows the bot to create detailed maps of the building or area it is in. Along with a set of acoustic sensors that allow the robot to localize footsteps and voices, it can make a fairly accurate predictions about where you are on the map.
When the robot sense a human is near it takes its pre-determined escape route to the dark and waits for the danger to pass, which means it may not be so stealthy in places lacking darkness or escape routes, but the pretty much just puts it on par with humans.
More information: www.lockheedmartin.com/auvsi/factsheets/DS-ATL-CovertRobotics.pdf
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"A more stealthy robot may be hearing you soon." March 23rd, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-03-stealthy-robot.html