Walking robots to enter hazardous sites

The French manufacturer of an innovative humanoid robot has said it will develop an all-terrain version usable in hazardous environments.

The huge problems following the Japanese tsunami have accentuated the need for service robots able to help in dangerous situations, according to Bruno Maisonnier, CEO and founder of Aldebaran Robotics

“At this moment there is a veritable need for robots for our Japanese partners; however, we are unable to help. Our robots are designed for research, education and personal assistance, and not made for such difficult situations,” he said. “Following recent events I have decided to immediately invest in the development of all-terrain walking robots able to assist in these types of situations.”

Aldebaran Robotics' main product is Nao ("Now"), a 58cm-tall communicating humanoid robot used by students and researchers; it plays in the RoboCup football tournament, for example. The company is developing a new 1.4m-tall robot called Romeo, Maisonnier said.

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