BGU’s Amazing Israeli Robots Visit NJ
June 1, 2012
New Jersey Jewish News — Dr. Amir Shapiro, director of BGU’s Robotics Lab, and graduate student Yam Geva wowed a crowd of more than 100 adults and children with a demonstration of the “Amazing Robots of Israel” at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange, New Jersey.
But in Israel robots aren’t child’s play. They have serious homeland security and military applications. Dr. Shapiro shared the story behind the llama robot.
“During the Second Lebanon War, the Israeli army used [actual] llamas in order to take equipment for soldiers. But when they got to the war zone, and there was shooting everywhere, the llamas did not want to go,” says Shapiro.
“They’re smart animals. They know it’s dangerous. Therefore, we suggested to the army to use mechanical llamas — the robots.”
Shapiro and his colleague also demonstrated a snake robot equipped with a camera that can be used to search the rubble of a collapsed building for survivors.