Science and Tech


NASA's New Robot Could Help Save Lives In Disaster Zones

NASA has unveiled its newest, coolest-looking robot, and it could help rescue teams save lives in disaster situations.
Posted at 2:08 PM, Dec 11, 2013

NASA has unveiled its newest, coolest-looking robot — and it could help rescue teams save lives in disaster situations.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 275-pound humanoid machine has detachable arms, sonar sensors and flexible joints. NASA claims it's perfect for entering disaster zones to assist with search and rescue operations. (Via IEEE Spectrum)

CNET reports the bot's other noteworthy characteristics include long legs for stomping through rough terrain. Plus, the bot has cameras mounted pretty much everywhere on its body to provide as many visuals to its handlers as possible.

And according to Engadget, it's even capable of operating under massive planetary gravity loads and could be vital to NASA's long-term plans for Mars.

The space agency says its scientists designed the "Valkyrie" robot to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge later this month. 

It will go up against other robots, including DARPA's own Atlas bot, in tasks such as climbing a ladder, using tools and driving.

But in that matchup, we have our money on Valkyrie. Unlike Atlas, Valkyrie doesn't need a tether and is powered by a battery stored on its back, giving it a definite advantage. Plus, it kind of looks like Iron Man, right?

The DARPA Robotics Challenge competition will be held Dec. 20. So far, 17 teams are qualified to participate.