Meet Valkyrie, a 6-foot-tall human-like robot built at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Valkyrie will soon be a contestant in The Department of Defence’s Robotics Challenge where the world’s best robot will win a $US2 million prize
17 teams will compete in the Challenge at Florida’s Homestead Miami Speedway, December 20-21. One winner will be chosen for development, plus its creators get that $US2 million.
DARPA is careful not to say it’s looking for robot soldiers. It says it wants these robots to work with humans during things like natural disasters. That means it wants the robot to be able to move through rubble, lift, carry, fix, build. Those are the kinds of tasks these robots will be competing on later this month.
The scientists at NASA say they wanted to build a superhero robot that could eventually accompany astronauts in space.
The participating teams were announced about a year ago and many them have been eager to share the progress. But the NASA JSC team has kept its robot a secret until now when it invited a team from the Spectrum IEEE blog to visit.
NASA showed them a robot patterned on human physiology, which should make it more able to do things like walk through rubble than a robot built with, for instance, wheels.
This robot also has a distinctly womanly shape.
While the official NASA position is that this robot is gender neutral, they also named her Valkyrie. That’s the name for the women horse warriors in Norse mythology.
Sure looks like a superhero woman robot to us.
Here’s a video that shows off what Valkyrie can do and how she was built.