A robotics team from South Korea took home the $2 million first-place prize in a competition this weekend to design robots that could aid humans in a natural or man-made disaster.
The team is a collaboration between the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) Humanoid Robot Research Center and from Rainbow Co., a company that was spun out of the research lab. The team’s humanoid robot, or HUBO, stands 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing in at 176 pounds. It works in bipedal mode, and it can kneel down to roll around on wheels.
While all the robots needed to have legs so they could walk up steps, Team KAIST's robot had an innovative wheeled mode. It had two legs it could walk on, but when it kneeled down, wheels on the knees and feet allowed the robot to drive around in a more stable position.