NASA developed humanoid robots to send on Mars exploration missions. The innovation brings humanity closer to traveling Mars. NASA’s robots are put to test in a simulation of Mars’ surface. NASA’s robots will pave the way for a humanoid space exploration. It will lessen the gap of human colonization of the red planet. NASA’s Valkyrie (R5) robot will not slip the surly bonds of Earth. The humanoid space robot will spend the rest of its days on Earth. However, the six-foot piece of machinery represents a link to the future of humanoid space exploration.
NASA built four six-foot, 290-pound machinery called Valkyrie. Each of the robots cost $2 million. Valkyrie is currently in the warehouse in Lowell, Massachusetts. NASA produced four units. The agency took one of the robots for their own uses and gave the two units to Northeastern University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Scotland’s University of Edinburgh acquired the fourth robot. NASA chose the three universities in an open competition. The space agency assigned the three universities to challenge and refine the robots’ technology. NASA outsourced the robots to let the universities test the machine’s capabilities in various hostile environments.
The emergence of details about the robot came out after U.S. President Donald Trump released NASA’s new budget. The robot’s Mars test will take place in summer. There will be 20 teams competing for a $1 million prize in NASA’s Space Robotics Challenge.
The Mars Exploration robots will arrive first on the red planet
Furthermore, NASA’s vision sees that R5 will arrive in Mars along with supplies ahead of a human mission. The agency simulated situation where an overnight dust storm will the damaged the habitat and solar array. The dust storm will misalign the communication antenna. The contestants’ robots must repair the damage, launch a new solar panel and align the communication antenna. The three tasks will complete the challenge.
The Northeastern University tested the robot at the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center. The NERVE Center is a warehouse filled with large obstacle courses. The use of the obstacles is to challenge robots and drones’ capabilities.
The warehouse is the kind of environment where the robotics and engineering students can put the robot’s skills to the test. In this way, they can heighten the robot’s capabilities. Northeastern Ph.D. student Murphy Wonsick stated that the robot can make autonomous decisions in order to achieve its tasks. Wonsick said, “She can autonomously make decisions, move around and accomplish tasks.”
In conclusion, the successors for the ‘robonauts’ will help to facilitate the colonization of Mars. The robots will build the necessities of humans before their arrival. The robots will also assist the astronauts with various tasks while on Mars.