Looks like NASA gets to play with a robot, and a space robot if we are talking about it. The space agency announced on Wednesday that it is going to receive a new space toy that they are looking forward to. The robot’s sizes are pretty impressive: 6 feet tall and as heavy as 290 pounds. This baby is going to travel to Mars and even further away if things go according to what NASA has in store for it. This is yet another step forward that will facilitate space travel in the years to come.
However exciting the news might be, the robot still needs a fine touch in order to work efficiently. This is why a special group was assigned to create specific algorithms for the space toy to work. According to NASA officials, more robots will be created in order to “extreme space missions”. These missions usually involve a dangerous context for humans, so the best way to deal with them is by having well developed robots that can cope with the situation or which can be left behind with no consequences.
The man responsible for the team’s performance is none other than Russ Tedrake, the principal investigator from CSAIL, who was recently deemed fit for the job. The team will also be funded with $250.000 a year for two years in a row so that this task be seen completed. After all, if we want to make any kind of scientific progress, we need to explore space as much as possible.
NASA has expressed great interest with these new contraptions specifically because of their utility. A robot can move further away from Earth, can spend time on a planet without a great deal of resources and can be programmed so that he could bring back or even stream important data. Humans are rather limited by their condition, for the time being, so sending someone to Mars would not only be time consuming, but life threatening as well.
The main reason why Tedrake was handpicked for the job is because of his great experience with robots. Perhaps the most impressive achievement he participated in was Atlas, a gigantic robot that could perform a great number of tasks within a very short period of time. Atlas could literally do anything: open doors, drill, climb any stair he would encounter and he could even drive!
Now NASA gets to play with a robot and it looks like Tedrake will see it done for them.
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