Humanoid Robots Getting Set To Head To Mars
NASA is teaming up with scientists and students from four universities, in an effort to design humanoid robots to send to Mars.
This 5’9, 275 pounds robot named Valkyrie, that can already walk and is learning to interact with people, will be used to carry out vital tasks in environments deadly to human beings.
Holly Yanco, professor of computer science, explained “Up in the head, you can see we have a stereo camera pair, we hooked it up to an Oculus Rift, so somebody who’s remotely controlling the robot can see through the robot’s eyes.”
It also has cameras on its arms, abdomen and legs and force sensors on it to help it react to touch and pressure as well as transmit information.
Yanco also points out that “Valkyrie also has infrared sensors so that you can have structured light just like Microsoft Connect. Inside the visor is a spinning laser. And there are lots of touch sensors in the hands as well as the feet.”
Its torque controlled joints and 32 degrees of freedom body provides dexterity which allows it to hold and pass objects.
It goes through rapid computations to alter its center of mass to stay upright, although it does react to being pushed against by either swaying or taking a step backwards.
NASA and team hope to have Valkyrie reach the red planet before humans due, which they hope will be by the 2030’s.