Meet CHARLI-2, Virginia Tech’s skinny, five-foot tall humanoid robot. His balance is enviable: Jostle him, and he’ll right himself — which is one of the reasons the Navy is using him for research on its firefighting robot of the future. Oh, and he also dances Gangnam Style.
This week, CHARLI-2 will formally meet his flesh-and-blood shipmates at an expo in Virginia thrown by the futurists at the Office of Naval Research. His creator, engineer Dennis Hong of Virginia Tech’s Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory, has a $3.5 million grant from the Navy to help design CHARLI-2′s son, the Autonomous Shipboard Humanoid, or ASH. CHARLI-2, the current test platform for ASH, will take the stage at the Office of Naval Research’s annual science and technology showcase to demonstrate how robots can interact with humans.
“If a robot can do all the tasks that come with fighting a fire, it can do all these other things on ships, like mopping the deck,” Hong tells Danger Room. “It’s like the Swiss Army knife of robotics.” Or at least the PSY. Watch the smooth moves of CHARLI. He will probably dance better than most of you out there. SEE?