【机器人总动员:探测火星倒计时】

【机器人总动员:探测火星倒计时】NASA与爱丁堡大学正在共同研制一款类人机器人,将执行火星任务。这款以挪威神话中的女精灵Valkyrie命名的机器人将拥有更好理解和应对周围环境的能力,将在两年后的机器人挑战赛中获得检验。与此相比,中国在近期也公布了一款正在研制的机器人,同样将应用于未来中国的火星探测活动。

Valkyrie starts its preparations for a mission to Mars: 6ft humanoid is getting a makeover ahead of Nasa's trip to the red planet

  • Valkyrie, also known as R5, is a 6ft-tall, 275lb humanoid machine 
  • One prototype was given to MIT, and another to University of Edinburgh
  • In two years, modified robots will go head-to-head in robotics challenge
  • China also recently revealed a space robot that looks similar to Iron Man

The 'superhero robot' is being designed by Nasa to help astronauts on a mission to Mars is named Valkyrie. It is 6ft-tall and weighs  275lbs. It has been under development by the space agency for a number of years and now Nasa has teamed up with two leading universities to help develop the machine's dexterity

A human-sized robot is being developed in preparation for missions to the red planet.

Experts will seek to improve the physical and computational abilities of the 6ft-tall (1.8 metre) machine Valkyrie.

Researchers will work to give Valkyrie a much more sophisticated set of skills, enabling it to better understand and respond to its surroundings.

Valkyrie's human-like shape is designed to enable it to work alongside people, or carry out high-risk tasks in place of people. Currently, the humanoid machine can walk on two legs and perform basic movements, such as holding and manipulating objects

Currently, the humanoid machine can walk on two legs and perform basic movements, such as holding and manipulating objects.

The program is a joint effort between Nasa and the University of Edinburgh.

Nasa hopes to equip Valkyrie - named after the female spirits of Norse mythology - to go to the red planet many years before astronauts are able to make the journey, for pre-deployment tasks and to maintain assets on Mars.

R5 - also known as Valkyrie -  has an Iron Man-style glowing chest emblem contains linear actuators to help with its waist movement. Its power source comes from a battery in a backpack that lasts for around an hour

University scientists will seek to improve the robot's handling and walking capabilities, and use Valkyrie's sophisticated on-board sensors to help it make sense of its environment, and improve its manoeuvrability.

Researchers will also aim to further develop the robot's ability to interact closely and safely with humans and other machines.

The Valkyrie is the only robot of its type in Europe, and one of three prototypes in the world.

Valkyrie's human-like shape is designed to enable it to work alongside people, or carry out high-risk tasks in place of people.
The robot could pave the way for the first humans to arrive on the red planet. In the Martian (2015) with Matt Damon as Mark Watney

The Valkyrie project is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and is conducted at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, a joint initiative between the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University.

Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, said: 'Valkyrie is a huge scientific undertaking.

'We are looking forward to tackling the many technical challenges involved in developing a large-scale humanoid robot, and pushing the state of the art in humanoid robotics.'  

Prototypes - officially named R5 - have also been given to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and Northeastern University in Boston.

They have Iron Man-style glowing chest emblems that contain linear actuators to help with waist movement.

Their power source comes from a battery in a backpack that lasts for around an hour.

Sensors include sonar and Lidar, and operators can see what the Valkyries are doing on cameras attached to their heads, arms, abdomens, and legs.

In two years, the universities will be asked to enter their modified R5s into Nasa's Space Robotics Challenge.

Here, the machines will compete against each other to prove they have the capability to survive on a deep space mission to the red planet.

 

They also will receive as much as $250,000 a year for two years and have access to onsite and virtual technical support from Nasa.

R5 is an update to its existing Robonaut, which currently on the 260-mile-high ISS, performing mundane cleaning chores and fetching things for the human crew.

Each leg - 4 feet, 8 inches long - has seven joints. Instead of feet, there are grippers, each with a light, camera and sensor for building 3-D maps.

Nasa engineers based the design on the tether attachments used by spacewalking astronauts.

R5, however, will also venture outside on spacewalks. Nasa says that's where the real payoff lies.

A robot could stay out in the vacuum of space for days, weeks or even months, clinging to the station. Meanwhile, human spacewalkers are limited to eight or nine hours.

For base camps on the moon and Mars, robots could be deployed in advance and get everything running before the humans arrive - and stay behind when they leave.

And if there's a chore too risky for humans 'we could let the machine go out and sacrifice itself,' Robert Ambrose from Nasa's Johnson Space Center.

'And that's OK. It's not human. We can build another one. We'll build one even better.'

Nasa isn't the only space agency banking on the help of robots for deep space missions.

Last week, Chinese space agency's main contractor, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, unveiled a space robot that looks remarkably similar to the Marvel comic book hero.

 

As well as featuring the signature colours of Iron Man, the robot has a glowing emblem similar to Tony Stark's arc reactor. 

The metallic red and gold robot is named 'Xiaotian,' which translates to 'Little Sky'.

Last week, Chinese space agency's main contractor, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, unveiled a space robot that looks remarkably similar to the Marvel comic book hero, Iron Man

Chinese state news agency Xinhua says that the robot is capable of a series of 'complex manipulation tasks' in moon landings or missions to space stations and unmanned probes.

Another Chinese news site claims the robot's hands have flexibility similar to that of human hands.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3573125/Valkyrie-starts-preparations-mission-Mars-6ft-humanoid-getting-makeover-ahead-Nasa-s-trip-red-planet.html


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