'Near human' bots to 'perform surgeries, harvest crops'

Washington, Oct 24 (ANI): The military's blue-sky research arm, Darpa, is working to launch a major push that'd revolutionize robotic capabilities and put bots pretty much everywhere, from hospitals to dude ranches to "explosive atmospheres."

Working along with four other agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Homeland Security, Darpa has already created a real-life C3PO, a bot that can match human intellect and a four-legged BigDog robo-beast.

They are also making efforts to map monkey minds to yield neurally controlled prosthetics, reports Wired News.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is after "robotic applications to surgery," as well as "computerized therapist personalities [and] artificial intelligence capable of real time monitoring" along with patient interaction and day-to-day care-taking tasks.

The NIH is also interested in organ- and limb-replacement robotics, including advanced prosthetics and "implantable smart robotics for monitoring/drug delivery."

The USDA is looking at an agricultural-bot that'd be responsible for crop harvesting, sorting and inspecting, along with "detecting ripeness, physical damage [and] microbial contamination."

Robots would also rule over animal herds, taking on tasks like "sorting, vaccinating [and] deworming" large numbers of livestock.

The Department of Homeland Security is looking for beyond-tough bomb-handlers and surveillance bots, capable of carrying 50-pound loads in a single arm, traversing stairs and "corrugated drainage pipes" and working "in an explosive atmosphere" or through tunnels filled with "debris, mud and water."

Combined, the solicitations are after a sweeping robotic proliferation, including bots that can "safely co-exist in close proximity or in physical contact with humans."

As the solicitation noted, "the creation of trust in human-robot interactions" remains a top priority. (ANI)

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