There is a humanoid robot named THOR.The THOR robot is actually real. It is created by the University of Virginia. The robot is designed to save lives.
The THOR robot
The tasks are really big for a robot. One of the tasks is to actually drive a a vehicle. It also must clear rubble from a door and enter it. Once inside it must locate (using visual and auditory senses)a leaking pipe, then fix it. The last is to cut through a concrete wall using a power tool.
It will do all that at a competition for DARPA. If they win, they will get $4,000,000 dollars. If they had robots like this when Fukushima power plant exploded, there would have been many lives saved. Humans, with this technology, will be better prepared for disasters.
Have you ever watched a Pixar movie and saw the lamp? Have you ever wanted one? Now some graduate students have created a real one.
It uses an Arduino (popular in MAKE Magazine [a magazine devoted to building things]), 6 servos, webcam, and processing. An Arduino is an open-source microcontroller platform. A microcontroller is an electronic device you program, and depending how you program it, it sends certain signals.Here is a link to their website: http://www.arduino.cc/.
It can do a lot of things. It can track the users face. It can play peek-a-boo. It can even turn itself on when it gets turned off. The video in the link (the second link) shows it’s “point of view”. Unfortunately you can’t buy one (yet), but you can watch the video at http://www.dogonews.com/2012/12/5/pixars-iconic-lamp-comes-to-life.
This is the lamp the students created.
The Leonardo robot is developed by M.I.T. It looks almost like a stuffed animal, though does not resemble any real creature. DARPA, NASA, Neven Vision, Inc., Toyota, and many other organizations, all contributed. It has about 60 motors inside of it. The face has two cameras inside it. Leonardo is designed to be a social robot, hence it’s cute look. It can mimic motions, and speech. The Leonardo robot is a very advanced robot.