NASA’s Johnson Space Center developed a humanoid robot – R5. The Main design goal of R5 are walking on uneven surface, ladder climbing and the deep space exploration.
For that, NASA is looking for help from the University Robotics Groups.
Through a competitive selection process, NASA will award two R5 robots to university groups competing in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge (DRC) this month. Recipients will have possession of the robots for two years; receive up to $250,000; and have access to onsite and virtual technical support from NASA.
The selected university groups will have two years to perform research and software development that will improve the robot’s autonomy.
“NASA often looks to the commercial and academic sector to help advance the technologies we will need to explore beyond low-Earth orbit,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “By providing the R5 platform to multiple robotics research groups, we are progressing the robot’s technological readiness so it will have the skills it needs for future space missions.”
The two additional robots also have another purpose – in 2016, they will compete in a Space Robotics Challenge through NASA’s Centennial Challenge Program. The robotics challenge is a virtual competition using robotic simulations and a physical competition using the two upgraded R5 robots.
Humanoid RObot R-5 video:
Over the next year, STMD will continue to seek industry and university partnerships to assure the agency has the capabilities it needs on our journey to Mars, while helping America maintain its leadership in the technology-driven global economy.
These investments will focus on in-space propulsion and advanced high-power solar arrays; robotics and avionics for outer planetary exploration, especially high-reliability and low-mass, deep ice penetration systems; advanced materials, including large composite structures; and space observatory systems, with a focus on advanced optical coating materials.
Eligibility for this competition will be limited to U.S. university participants in the DRC finals in June 2015. Universities that receive an R5 will not be eligible to participate in the 2016 Space Robotics Challenge.
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Image: JPL/NASA Source: NASA