CDI Corporation

Canadian-built robot to go against the grain

Engineers in Vancouver are changing the landscape of robotics by creating a 3.5-tonne racing robot that will require a human inside to operate it.

Sculptor and mechanical engineer Jonathan Tippett  is the mastermind behind the two-storey tall robot with four steel legs, reported CBC News. However, what sets this robot apart from others in the field is the focus on keeping humans integrated with technology.

Coined “Prosthesis: the anti-robot,” it is unable to move without human operation.

“Visually and physically it’s this fragile human in the centre of this super-powerful, monstrous machine that is completely dormant without the pilot’s will,” explained Tippet. “Which I think is how our relationship should remain with our technology.”

Inspiration for the design came more than 13 years ago at Burning Man festival in Nevada, reported the Vancouver Sun. The initial sketch for the robot was first drafted by Tippet in 2006 and the project officially kicked off four years later.

Hundreds of people – including engineering students from the University of British Columbia – have been instrumental in the creation, design, construction and testing of Prosthesis. It took four years to develop a prototype and the final machine is expected to be revealed in January.