NASA One Step Closer to Deploying Humanoid Robots in Space

The space agency has sent its humanoid robot, Valkyrie, for some of its final tests to ready it for deployment in space

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

January 15, 2024

1 Min Read
NASA's Valkyrie robot
NASA's Valkyrie robotNASA

NASA is one step closer to sending humanoid robots to space, with the agency’s humanoid design, Valkyrie, undergoing some of its final testing phases at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

According to the agency, Valkyrie is designed for “damaged or degraded environments” such as natural disaster sites, though NASA developed the robot with a longer-term goal of sending it for off-planet missions.

NASA’s engineers said with tests underway at the Johnson Space Center they are getting gradually closer to making robots like Valkyrie ready for space.

The software behind humanoid robots becoming increasingly sophisticated. NASA’s engineers said a design such as Valkyrie would eventually have the same dexterity and functionality as human operators, completing tasks such as cleaning solar panels or fixing equipment.

Robotic assistants are taking on increasingly dexterous and intricate tasks aboard a spacecraft so human astronauts can spend more time on exploration and discovery.

According to Shaun Azimi, NASA Dexterous Robotics Team Leader, the goal is not to replace human crews but to “relieve them of mundane, dangerous tasks.” 

In July last year, Valkyrie was sent for initial tests on an offshore oil rig in Australia, where it was used as a “remote caretaker” for uncrewed, offshore energy facilities, to test its dexterity and handling capabilities. 

Related:NASA Humanoid Robot Being Tested on Offshore Oil Rig

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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