Valkyrie’s performance on the Australian offshore facility will help prepare it for future space missions

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

July 10, 2023

1 Min Read
NASA’s Dexterous Robotics Team and U.S. State Department representatives with NASA’s Valkyrie robot at Woodside Energy.
NASA’s Dexterous Robotics Team and U.S. State Department representatives with NASA’s Valkyrie robot at Woodside Energy.NASA/JSC

NASA’s humanoid robot, Valkyrie, is heading to Australia for a series of tests aboard an offshore oil rig.

The project is part of a Space Act Agreement with Woodside Energy in Perth, Western Australia and is hoped to provide NASA with insight into Valkyrie’s remote manipulation capabilities.

As part of the tests, Valkyrie will be used as a “remote caretaker” for uncrewed, offshore energy facilities, with the data collected to be used to improve NASA’s robotic technology. According to NASA, the findings have potential applications in its Artemis missions and other Earth-based robotics projects. 

“Valkyrie and other advanced mobile robots can be vital tools in allowing humans to supervise dangerous work remotely and to offload dull and repetitive tasks, enabling humans to work on higher level tasks, including deploying and maintaining robots,” NASA said in a statement. “These principles apply to both space and Earth, where companies are recognizing the value of human-scale robots.”

Using robots to perform inspection and maintenance tasks in remote or hazardous environments is a key part of NASA’s exploration missions, helping support astronauts by establishing infrastructure or conducting the more dangerous tasks. 

“We are pleased to be starting the next phase of development and testing of advanced robotic systems that have the potential to positively impact life on Earth by allowing safer operations in hazardous environments,” said Shaun Azimi, dexterous robotics team lead at NASA Johnson. “These demonstrations will evaluate the current potential of advanced robots to extend the reach of humans and help humanity explore and work safely anywhere.”

Related:NASA-Funded Robotics Project Could Light Up Moon

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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