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Former Baltimore City Cop Builds Full-Size Robot

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Derek Valcourt 370x278 Derek Valcourt
Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–From “Star Wars” to “Lost In Space,” robots have long captured our collective imaginations.

A former Baltimore cop loved robots so much as a kid, he’s now built his own to help inspire the next generation of robotics engineers.

Derek Valcourt explains.

In Will Smith’s futuristic sci-fi blockbuster “I, Robot,” the machines are so much like humans they eventually try to take over.

But in reality, robots built like humans are a long way from being part of our everyday lives.

“This is Hex. It’s an earnest attempt to build a full-size humanoid robot,” said Mark Haygood, a former Baltimore City police officer.

Haygood built the robot all on his own using some common household items.

“The feet are actually chicken fryers,” said Haygood.

Hex can move his arms, hands, legs and even his head.

“As far as sophistication is concerned, he’s not breaking any technological boundaries,” said Haygood.

For some far along robots, you can look to Asia. Hubo was built by Korean researchers and in Japan, Honda’s ASIMO robot is perhaps the most advanced yet.

American robotics companies are making huge strides like a robotic cheetah, but when it comes to developing humanoid robots, Haygood said the country is far behind and that’s partly why he built Hex.

He takes him to schools and robotics shows to inspire kids to study science technology engineering and math.

Haygood said Hex amazes students.

“They can not ignore it, and you have their undivided attention for as long as you want,” he said.

And with smaller robots already doing some jobs like vacuuming our floors, cleaning our gutters and even helping police to disarm bombs, it’s only a matter of time before the science fiction future becomes reality.

“‘I, Robot’ maybe not, but yeah, you’re going to have robots standing on the corner doing something,” said Haygood.

Haygood has launched his own Kickstarter campaign so he can fix some of the flaws with Hex and build Hex 2 to inspire kids in the future.

Click Here To Contribute To The Kickstarter Campaign

Click Here To Learn How To Bring Hex To Your School

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