Humanoid Progress Update

On November 17, NASA announced that two R5 humanoid robot prototypes have been given, one each, to MIT's “Robust Autonomy for Extreme Space Environments” test team in Cambridge, MA, and to Northeastern University's “Accessible Testing on Humanoid-Robot-R5 and Evaluation of NASA Administered (ATHENA) Space Robotics Challenge” team in Boston, MA. The two university research groups won the opportunity to test an R5 through a competitive process in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The robots are contemplated for use in solar system exploration in advance of human participation, and as human assistants in manned missions to planets and asteroids, and in deep space exploration.

NASA notes: “The university principal investigators will serve as critical partners in NASA’s upcoming Space Robotics Challenge where the two R5 units will act as instruments. The challenge is part of the agency’s Centennial Challenges Program, and is divided into two competitions: a virtual competition using robotic simulations, and a physical competition using the two upgraded R5 robots. The goal of the challenge is to create better software for dexterous humanoid robots used in space missions, giving them more autonomy.”www.nasa.gov/…/nasa-awards-two-robots-to-university-groups-…

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