Latest in Science

Image credit:

NASA sends its Valkyrie humanoid robots to college

Let's hope it's not on the five year plan.
Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
November 18, 2015
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

NASA wants to send its 6-foot-tall, 290-pound humanoid robot R5 (which also goes by the more intimidating name "Valkyrie") to Mars and other extraterrestrial locations. The agency originally designed the R5 for search-and-rescue missions, though, so to prepare the machine for a future of exploration in harsh environments, it's sending two units to college. One will go to MIT, specifically to the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and the other to Northeastern University in Boston. The institutions were chosen from among the groups that joined DARPA's Robotics Challenge, and each will receive $250,000 per year for two years to finance their research.

The MIT CSAIL team's study is called "Robust Autonomy for Extreme Space Environments," while Northeastern's is entitled "Accessible Testing on Humanoid-Robot-R5 and Evaluation of NASA Administered (ATHENA) Space Robotics Challenge." Part of their work is to develop algorithms for the robot for NASA's upcoming Space Robotics Challenge, which aims to "create better software for dexterous humanoid robots used in space missions." The agency believes that in the future, it could send an army of R5s (along with other humanoid machines) to planets or moons to prepare for a human crew's arrival, to assist in various tasks when the crew arrives and to explore rough extraterrestrial terrains too dangerous for people.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

See the 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' painting in 10-gigapixel detail

See the 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' painting in 10-gigapixel detail

View
New White House website includes a hidden recruitment message for coders

New White House website includes a hidden recruitment message for coders

View
Samsung Display to make 90Hz OLED screens for laptops

Samsung Display to make 90Hz OLED screens for laptops

View
The Morning After: Biden-Harris day one, and Samsung Display's new laptop OLEDs

The Morning After: Biden-Harris day one, and Samsung Display's new laptop OLEDs

View
Synthetic cornea helped a legally blind man regain his sight

Synthetic cornea helped a legally blind man regain his sight

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr