Science 25 Jan 2016 NASA working on huma ...

NASA working on humanoid robots for future space missions

Published Jan 25, 2016, 7:18 pm IST
Updated Jan 25, 2016, 9:02 pm IST
NASA’s R5 robot is NASA's newest humanoid robot (Photo: NASA)
 NASA’s R5 robot is NASA's newest humanoid robot (Photo: NASA)

Boston: NASA is developing a six-feet tall humanoid robot that could assist astronauts in risky and extremely hazardous deep space missions to Mars and asteroids in the future.

The US space agency is considering ushering new humanoid robots that could offer astronauts a helping hand in future expeditions.

"NASA is counting on robots to setup and care for deep space exploration facilities and equipment pre-deployed ahead of astronauts," Sasha Congiu Ellis of NASA's Langley Research Centre, told

"Robots are also excellent precursors for conducting science missions ahead of human exploration," Ellis said. That is why the agency is developing a six-feet tall humanoid robot called R5, previously known as Valkyrie.

The machine weighs about 131 kilogrammes. It was initially designed to complete disaster-relief manoeuvres. In November last year, NASA awarded two R5 robots to university groups—the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Northeastern University in Boston.

According to NASA, the teams have two years to perform research and software development in order to improve the robot's autonomy. They also have access to onsite and virtual technical support from the agency.

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