NASA awards R5 humanoid robot to 2 universities to conduct research

NASA awards R5 humanoid robot to 2 universities to conduct research

Teams at the MA Institute of Technology and Northeastern University have won prototypes of NASA’s R5 humanoid robot so that they can carry out advanced research and development work. Originally, R5 is known as Valkyrie that was meant to aid in disaster relief.

NASA has taken this initiative in order to prepare for the day when humans and robots will team up. The robot can be used in two scenarios: as precursor robots that perform tasks before humans reach at the spot or as human-assistive robots in which they will work with the human crew.

As mentioned above, the R5 robot was meant to help in missions with regard to disaster relief, but later on the focus was shifted to extraterrestrial exploration missions. The missions like the ones being planned by NASA will require such robots.

To cite an example, NASA has been planning a trip to Mars. In that mission, a humanoid robot will prove beneficial. The focus should be on to make it as independent and handy as possible. Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said, “Advances in robotics, including human-robotic collaboration, are critical to developing the capabilities required for our journey to Mars”.

Both the teams will receive the funding from NASA. They will be getting around US $250,000 in two years and during this period they have to build their own versions of the R5 robot.

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