Universities To Test NASA's Valkyrie Robots For Future Space Missions

Robots are programmable machines that can do certain tasks. Although limited, these products will make great substitutes for humans in certain cases with higher risks. These machines would easily come in handy in space explorations. And since it has zero-risk probabilities, these innovations will make room for more expeditions and research in 'extreme spaces'.

NASA, which has taken a huge interest in humanoid robots for years now, has awarded its advanced prototype automatons to two universities for research purposes and in preparation for humans and robots to team up in time.

The robot known as R5 or Valkyrie, will make its way to two universities -- one prototype will make it to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, while the other one to the Northeastern University in Boston. According to reports, the two universities were particularly chosen among the groups that have joined DARPA'S Robotics Challenge. Both universities will receive US$250,000 each per year on a two-year course as a financial resource for their research intiatives.

Valkyrie is a humanoid robot that stands 6 feet tall and weighs heavily at 290 pounds. It first appeared in DARPA'S Robotics Challenge two years ago. Also, it was originally designed for search and rescue missions, as well as disaster relief operations -- proving its undeniable superhero design.

According to reports, the research from both universities will be covering virtual simulations of humanoid robots as well as live demonstrations of advanced tasks using Valkyrie. The MIT CSAIL team's study goes by "Robust Autonomy for Extreme Space Environments," while Northeastern University in Boston's titles it as "Accessible Testing on Humanoid-Robot-R5 and Evaluation of NASA Administered Space Robotics Challenge."

Furthermore, the researches have to make a better software so that the robots will have more autonomy and dexterity. Valkyrie includes a multitude of sensors such as LIDAN, sonar and cameras in different parts of its body.

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