Educational Technology

November 24, 2015

Why NASA is sending humanoids to college

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:34 am

by Kelsey Warner, Christian Science Monitor

The space agency announced Tuesday will award two Valkyrie robots, a 6-foot-tall, 290-pound humanoid, to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., and Northeastern University in Boston for intensive research and development into the robot’s applications in extreme environments. “Advances in robotics, including human-robotic collaboration, are critical to developing the capabilities required for our journey to Mars,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We are excited to engage these university research groups to help NASA with this next big step in robotics technology development.” The space agency became urgently interested in robotics following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station incident in Japan, which the agency says “illustrated, rather candidly, how inadequate current robotic technologies are for use in highly unstructured human environments.”

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