Japanese conglomerate Honda has unveiled the E2-DR, a prototype humanoid robot that could help to save lives in disaster zones.
The robot was presented at the 30th International Conference On Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) held in Vancouver, Canada, and is described in a paper entitled "Development of Experimental Legged Robot for Inspection and Disaster Response in Plants".
The E2-DR is designed to be stronger, more robust and more nimble than Honda's earlier creation, the famous ASIMO. It has 33 degrees of freedom – including eight per arm, six per leg, two for its torso (180° rotatable), and one for its hands and head. It stands 1.68 m (5' 6") tall, weighs 85 kg (187 lb) and includes a 1000-Wh lithium-ion battery for 90 minutes of operating time.
The robot's head features two rotating Hokuyo laser rangefinders, a monocular camera with a synchronised LED flash, an SR4000 time of flight camera, and a stereo camera coupled to an infrared light projector. There are also cameras and a 3D sensor on each of its hands. Its thin shape allows the robot to squeeze through gaps of just 25 cm (9.8"), which could be vitally important in emergency situations. It is also waterproof and dustproof.
While still at the prototype stage, the E2-DR already has a number of impressive abilities, as the video below shows.