Your Own MacGyver to the Rescue?

Building crisis response plans would be a whole lot easier if you had a team of MacGyver’s responding, able to restore operations with a paper clip, pocket knife, and a Pez dispenser.  But since humans aren’t typically that handy, the U.S. Navy plans to produce “a robotic MacGyver,” according to this report.


The million dollar robot “could know or learn how to stand on a chair to reach a high object, brace a ladder, stack boxes to climb over obstacles, or build a temporary bridge from nearby wooden planks…Our goal is to develop a robot that behaves like MacGyver, the television character from the 1980s who solved complex problems and escaped dangerous situations by using everyday objects and materials he found at hand,” said Mike Stilman, an assistant professor of robotics at the Georgia Institute of Technology and recipient of a U.S. Navy grant to fund the project.


“Professor Stilman’s work on the ‘MacGyver-bot’ is the first of its kind, and is already beginning to deliver on the promise of mechanical teammates able to creatively perform in high-stakes situations,” said Paul Bello, director of the cognitive science program in the Office of Naval Research.

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