This WALK-MAN robot can go places too dangerous for humans

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Humanoid robots may not be ready to take your job. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be useful.

Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology built a robot they called WALK-MAN that they say is uniquely capable of assisting in emergency situations. Humans control the machines using a virtual reality headset and a tracking suit that’s designed so the robot mirrors their movements. That way, the robot can go places too dangerous for humans, while the humans operate the machine from a safe distance.

There’s still significant work to be done: the robot is fairly slow, so it’s not well-suited for time-sensitive work like saving people from an unstable building. But watch the video above to see some of the work the robot can do, and get a sense of where the research is headed.