Humanoid Robot Manages to Shut Down Gas Leak in Destroyed Factory During Test

WALK-MAN, a humanoid robot developed by the IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia can enter a building damaged by a natural disaster and extinguish gas leaks and fires.
Jessica Miley

We have all been creeped out by the backflipping and door opening robots of Boston Dynamics. But here is a robot that we can really get around.

This humanoid robot designed by IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is called WALK-MAN and is seen in this featured video during its final validation testing.

WALK-MAN is given the task to investigate a mock industrial plant damaged by an earthquake, where gas leaks and fire are present.

The area is deemed too dangerous for humans, so WALK-MAN is sent in. The set was created by the researchers at the IIT laboratories, to test the robots ability to navigate through damaged buildings spaces and perform four specific tasks.

To pass the test, WALK-MAN needed to enter through a damaged door, locate a valve which controls the gas leakage and shut it off.

It then needs to remove debris from its path, and then finally identify the source of the fire and activate a fire extinguisher.

The robot performs impressively. Completing all of the four tasks. While it doesn’t look to be in much of a hurry, the tall black and blue robot manages to push aside sections of wood and traverse across some uneven ground.

The WALK-MAN project is funded by the European Commission. The project began in 2013 with the goal to develop a robot with an anthropomorphic form which can operate in unstructured environments caused by natural and man-made disasters.