AP: NASA’s Valkyrie robots set the table for human life on Mars
Associated Press - 05/19/2016
Engineering students let the electricity-powered robot down from a harness and tried to let it walk, only to watch as Val’s legs awkwardly lurched and locked into a ballet pose.
“That doesn’t look good,” said Taskin Padir, a professor at Northeastern University, noting Val’s $2 million price tag. Northeastern and UMass-Lowell are partnering on a two-year project to improve the robot’s software and test its ability to manipulate tools, climb a ladder and perform high-level tasks.
NASA originally designed Valkyrie several years ago to compete in the disaster-relief robotics contest hosted by the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, but now it’s looking for outside expertise to craft her into a kind of space mechanic. NASA shipped two other Valkyries to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.