The Department of Defense has awarded a lucrative contract to an engineering and robotics design company to develop and build humanoid robots that can act intelligently without supervision.
Boston Dynamics Inc. has been contracted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the agency responsible for the development of new technologies for use by the military, in a deal worth $10.9 million.
The DoD announced Tuesday that “The robotic platforms will be humanoid, consisting of two legs, a torso, two arms with hands, a sensor head and on board computing.”
DARPA’s website says that the robots will help “conduct humanitarian, disaster relief and related operations.”
“The plan identifies requirements to extend aid to victims of natural or man-made disasters and conduct evacuation operations.” reads the brief, first released in April as part of DARPA’s ‘Robotics Challenge’.
The robots will operate with “supervised autonomy”, according to DARPA, and will be able to act intelligently by themselves, making their own decisions if and when direct supervision is not possible.
The Pentagon also envisions that the robots will be able to use basic and diverse “tools”...