This is a brief demonstration video of Centauro, a centaur (not the ones from Fallout) inspired search and rescue robot developed by engineers at the Humanoids and Human Centered Mechatronics Lab at the Italian Institute of Technology. Did I mention it has axe blades for hands that can chop super flimsy boards in half? I'm surprised they didn't go with chainsaws.
[Centauro] can lift heavy items, poke holes in fences and easily cut through wood and other objects. Lead engineer on the project Nikolaos Tsagarakis has specifically stated the goal of the Centauro to be "...capable of using unmodified human tools for solving complex bimanual manipulation tasks, such as connecting a hose or opening a valve, in order to relieve the situation" in an emergency.
The future goal isn't to have Centauros operate autonomously, but rather "where a human operator is telepresent with its whole body in a Centaur-like robot, which is capable of robust locomotion and dexterous manipulation in the rough terrain and austere conditions characteristic of disasters." So they'll be human-controlled, that's a relief. Because I imagine if they were operating autonomously these search and rescue missions would end a lot differently. Centauro, report in. "There were no survivors." Dammit! Wait, why are your axe hands so bloody?
Keep going for the video.
Thanks to Jeffrey S, who's not convinced 'search and rescue' isn't Italian for 'seek and destroy'.