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This Human-Controlled Robot is Like PACIFIC RIM in Real Life

While the world may not be threatened by massive kaijus turning major cities into all-you-can-eat buffets, but there’s no shame in being prepared for Pacific Rim-style scenario. Though the much-hyped USA vs. Japan giant robot fight turned out to be a bit of a bust, robotics companies are getting closer and closer to making pilotable mechs a reality. Case in point: Sarcos Robotics’ Guardian GT, a controllable robot that acts as a force multiplier to allow its human operators to lift many times their body weight.

As Wired points out, the Guardian GT immediately conjures images of the Power Loader, the exoskeleton that Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley used to do battle with the Alien Queen in Aliens. Its sleek, seven-foot-long arms are surprisingly lithe given their size, able to replicate the subtlety and dexterity of human motion with impressive accuracy. The teleoperated robot is controlled by a human operator, using force feedback to allow the user to feel what the robot feels in its hands. The result is a manual dexterity that is heretofore unseen, by and large, amongst robots.

Considering that each arm can lift up to 500 lbs, the Guardian GT’s applications in fields like manufacturing, construction, and hazardous waste management become abundantly clear. Likewise, the Guardian GT is also capable of executing more delicate tasks, like pushing buttons and flipping switches, and its built-in video feed means that it can be controlled remotely, allowing operators to send the robot into areas too dangerous for us fleshy humans. Plus you get to wear a pair of sweet futuristic goggles and strap into an elaborate haptic system to control it, so you’ll really feel like you’re in the Drift. Now it’s just a matter of time until we can make a Guardian big enough and strong enough to use a tanker like a baseball bat against a massive monster that emerges from the sea.

But the Guardian GT is just the tip of the weird, wild iceberg on today’s episode of Muskwatch. In addition to talking about ‘bot stuff, Nerdist science editor Kyle Hill and I dive into Tesla’s ongoing Model 3 production delays, plans for the Boring Company’s proposed subterranean superhighway, the ongoing love affair between Elon Musk and Rick and Morty, and much more.

Muskwatch airs on Nerdist.com and YouTube every Tuesdaybut you can hack the planet and watch it two full days earlier on Sunday if you’re an Alpha subscriber. Find out how you can get 30 days free (and be 48 hours smarter than your dumb friends) right here.

What do you think of this week’s top stories? What else would you like to see us discuss on Muskwatch? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: Sarcos Robotics

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