More and more robots are being designed nowadays. Some are designed as laborers. Others have medical purposes. Everyone agrees that robots are an important part of our future. Wanting to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a team from NASA’s Johnson Space Center came up with a beautiful design for such a machine. The Valkyrie, a cross between Iron Man and Power Rangers, was designed with rescuing purposes in mind. The Valkyrie is about six feet tall. It weighs about 275 pounds and comes with a vast array of features such as cameras, sonar and different sensors.
The robot is meant to be easy to use. As a result, even people with limited robotic experience can be aided by the Valkyrie. Its parts are modular. This means that replacing broken parts can be done with ease.
In order to be better suited as a rescue robot, the team gave their project great freedom of movement. It also has three-fingered hands with thumbs which make it able to handle object similarly to a human. The Valkyrie is powered by a battery that can be replaced by anyone. The downside, however, is that its battery only lasts an hour. Who knows what innovations the future might bring?
Another particularity of this robot is its soft and pliable exterior. The Valkyrie has an armor made of fabric and foam. This makes it look soft and approachable, something to trust in a crisis situation. Its creators stated that: “The soft goods, the clothes we put on the robot, give it that feel, that appearance of being more comfortable to be near.”
The DARPA Challenge will take place in a few weeks. There the Valkyrie will have to be the best at tasks such as: walking over rocky surfaces, climbing, driving and even wielding tools. Do you think it has a chance to win?
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