See that guy? He's for real. He's also from Pittsburgh. A team of wizards from Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center is presently building a new "human-scale" robot in order to compete in DARPA's Robotics Challenge. Part of its charm revolves around the rubberized tracks on its feet as well as on the extremities of each of its four limbs -- not surprisingly, these are engineered to help it maneuver in some pretty sticky situations.
According to the institution, it'll move much link a tank, but it'll also be able to chug along on the treads of just two limbs when needed, such as when it must use one or more limbs to open a valve, or to operate power tools. Oh, and in case you're curious, CMU has affirmed that it'll "be able to perform complex, physically challenging tasks through supervised autonomy," which sounds precisely like the kind of vague description an ill-willed robot would explain to its master before completely taking over his / her life. Just sayin'.