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NASA tests DARPA Challenge robot for space manufacturing

Sharon Gaudin | June 10, 2015
NASA hopes its four-legged robot, which came in fifth place in the DARPA finals, can one day build parts for the International Space Station and satellites in space.

NASA's Robosimian is probably a few years away from being tested in space, according to Kennedy.

"If we can point to something we do on Earth that we could do on another planet, that's a very powerful thing to show people," he added. "We can have a different idea of what missions might be."

Robosimian will need to be redesigned for the rigors of space but should still look similar to the way it looked during the DARPA challenge.

DARPA's goal is to advance autonomous technology and robotics to the point where robots could be sent into damaged buildings after a disaster to turn off systems, inspect damage and look for victims.

In the finals last weekend, the teams were tasked with sending their robots into a simulated disaster scene, taking on eight different tasks, including driving a car, climbing stairs, using a drill to cut a hole in a wall and turning a valve.

South Korea's Team Kaist won the challenge, winning the $2 million top prize.

 

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