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. 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.

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