NASA’s Valkyrie is a ‘superhero’ robot that could lead us to Mars


JF-Expert Member
Jul 23, 2013

  • NASA's Johnson Space Center has finally unveiled Valkyrie, its "superhero robot" entry to the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Trials, which take place on December 20 in Florida.
  • Valkyrie will compete against fellow humanoid robots, such as Atlas, on a series of eight physical tasks to test the dexterity and autonomy of the robots, with the chance of going forward to the DRC Finals in 2014, where it could win $2 million from the US government. The DRC isn't about money, though: It's all about accelerating humanity's development of advanced humanoid robots, for use in hazardous situations... such as war.

  • Valkyrie, or Val for short, has 44 degrees of freedom (divided up between her legs, feet, arms, hands, torso, and head) and is capable of walking over uneven terrain, driving a vehicle, and using tools

  • To begin with, most of the robots taking part in the DRC — including Valkyrie — will be remotely operated. The robots will still feature a large amount of task-level autonomy — the operator will instruct the robot to “grasp the tool” rather than “open hand, rotate 90 degrees, extend hand, close hand,” and the robots will have built-in collision avoidance — but we’re not talking about robots that can walk around and automatically pluck survivors from the wreck of a fallen building.
  • The Atlas - Video
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