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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NASA develop Humanoid Robot for Martian missions

Currently, two universities are developing NASA humanoid robots to work with the astronauts in space, including missions to Mars in the future.

After a rigorous selection process, NASA gave the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northeastern University each a prototype of Valkyrie R5 robot, and raise as much as $250,000 per year as well as the assistance of a NASA technical support team.
Valkyrie R5, a NASA humanoid robot prototype which developed to work with the astronauts in space, including missions to Mars in the future. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1I7vYU0)
Obviously, there are many challenges to be overcome in space robotics. Starting from the physical ability of the robot to the software and their intelligence. NASA hopes the group of university researchers can investigate and produce the software development required to send these robots to Mars. After two years, the universities will show their progress to NASA.

If all goes according to plan, Valkyrie R5 will not actually be the first humanoid robots in space. There are Robonaut and Robonaut 2 has been on the International Space Station (ISS) since 2011. However, it is possible adaptation of R5 protoype can be the first robot on Mars.

Actually, NASA's long-term plan is to make the robot become an integral part of the NASA space missions. Even the robot may be traveling with astronauts to Mars. In the future, they believe the robot can be used to perform tasks in early missions before humans arrived or to help people carry out the mission.
"Advances in robotics, including the human-robot collaboration, it is important to develop the skills necessary for our journey to Mars," said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) in a NASA statement. "We are excited involving the university research groups to assist NASA in the development of robotics technology." *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | IFL SCIENCE!]
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