Nasa announced for several years now his willingness to embark a robot on the first manned Mars flight. Its role will be to assist the crew in flight long term. A robot has been developed for this purpose, the Robonaut R5 Valkyrie. Is one of the most sophisticated humanoid developed so far but, as did the latest Robotic Challenge organized by DARPA, this is far from being at the point. The Valkyrie failed in last place in the semifinals… To truly make this useful robot in space, NASA launched its own challenge, with $ 1 million to those who will be able to put some lead in the head of this rather wayward robot.
The robot will have to solve 3 realistic problems to win
In spaceflight, each kg sent into space, each gram must have its justification in the success of the mission. However how justify the 125 kg of the imposing humanoid R5 if it is unable to provide any help to the crew of the first flight to Mars. It’s a little dilemma that faced NASA officials. They did develop one of the most advanced and complex Humanoids ever created to date, but it has not shown great skills until today. To get out of the rut and make this partial failure (the Manned Mars mission shouldn’t have mile before 2030/2035) a success, NASA will in turn launch a challenge. It is not for the candidates to create a robot to go to mars, but develop a brain for R5.
The phase of the competition is open. The candidates will compete via computer simulations of the robot in June 2017.
After a first phase of qualifying, the teams will be able to tackle the three main rounds of the competition. The virtual avatar of the robot will have to demonstrate its ability to take a satellite antenna and orient it in order to function the system of communication of the Martian base. It will also repair a solar panel and especially to fix an air leak. There is initially no supplementary test to plant potatoes in the Martian soil, a useful pourtnt task as part of survival on Mars…
Fans of robotics, NASA opened its Space Robotic Challenge to teams to 51% of Americans, students in the United States understood. $125,000 will go to the winning team, knowing that the total premiums that will be distributed will reach $ 1 million.
Translation : Bing Translator
“What Happened to NASA’s Valkyrie Robot at the DRC Trials, and What’s Next”, IEEE Spectrum, 27 août 2014
“NASA JSC Unveils Valkyrie DRC Robot”, IEEE Spectrum, 10 décembre 2013