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News Link • Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Carnegie Mellon Is Building A Robot Chimp That Doubles As A Tank

•, By Kelsey D. Atherton
 Chimpanzees? Cool. Tanks? Cool. Robots? Also cool. Combine them, and you have either the best transformer ever, or Carnegie Mellon’s new human-sized robot chimp tank.

Named the CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform (CHIMP, because clever), the four-limbed robot is designed to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The challenge seeks robots that can wander into places where it'd be unsafe to send a human, like a failed nuclear reactor or houses after an earthquake. The challenge also solicits robots that can use human tools to do everything from open doorknobs to drive cars. There are several proposed designs, ranging from the humanoid to the spidery.

But CHIMP is the most, well, chimp-like. Similar to a chimpanzee, it has hands--complete with opposable thumbs--at the end of each limb that can grasp objects.

Most of the time, though, CHIMP resembles and acts more like a LEGO tank. Each of those four limbs has a section of tractor-like treads, which move easier over uneven terrain than most bipedal robots.

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