Turn on Your Heart Light and Meet NASA’s “Superhero” Robot

by Nancy Atkinson December 11, 2013

Here’s a new DARPA-inspired, NASA-built robot, complete with a glowing NASA Meatball in its chest, reminiscent of ET’s heart light. The robot’s name is Valkyrie and she was created by a team at the Johnson Space Center as part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a contest designed to find the life-saving robot of the future. […]

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This Video of a Cyborg Quadriped Will Have You Gasping in Terror

by Nancy Atkinson October 4, 2013

This is both wonderful and terrifying. A DARPA-funded four-legged robot named WildCat is being developed by a company called Boston Dynamics (tagline of “Changing Your Idea of What Robots Can Do”). They’ve previously developed a humanoid capable of walking across multiple terrains called Atlas, and the scarily-fast Cheetah which set a new land-speed record for […]

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Kirobo Robot Sends First Message from Space Station (and doesn’t open pod bay doors)

by Nancy Atkinson September 5, 2013

The talking robot launched to the International Space Station in August has sent its first audio/visual message to Earth. Kirobo, the mini Japanese robot — which appears to have the bravado of Buzz Lightyear and the cuteness of WALL-E — is just .34 meters (13.4-inches) long. Kirobo is designed to be able to have conversations […]

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What’s the Best Design for a Flying Mars Robot?

by Michael Habib July 17, 2013

Building a flying vehicle for Mars would have significant advantages for exploration of the surface. However, to date, all of our surface exploring vehicles and robotic units on Mars have been terrestrial rovers. The problem with flying on Mars is that the Red Planet doesn’t have much atmosphere to speak of. It is only 1.6% […]

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This Machine Could Help Robots Stick The Landing On Other Worlds

by Elizabeth Howell May 30, 2013

Mission planners really hate it when space robots land off course. We’re certainly improving the odds of success these days (remember Mars Curiosity’s seven minutes of terror?), but one space agency has a fancy simulator up its sleeve that could make landings even more precise. Elizabeth Howell on Google+

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