The folks over at NASA must have received inspiration from the cartoon Macross which features the Valkyrie robot, after the space agency unveiled the 6-foot long Valkyrie, which they have dubbed as a “superhero robot”. It was specially designed to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, and it has been touted to be a “female” robot – which could very well end up as a prototype model to the kind of robo-astronauts down the road which will help humanity in the quest to colonize Mars.

Just how complex is the Valkyrie? It will come with 44 axes of movement and interchangeable arms, tipping the scales at 275 pounds. Do expect it to go up against the likes of the Atlas robot from Boston Dynamic. Popular culture could have played a part in the design of the Valkyrie, where it sports an Iron Man-style glowing chest ring. Nicolaus Radford of the NASA JSC Dextrous Robotics Lab shared, “We really wanted to design the appearance of this robot to be one that when you saw it (you’d say) ‘Wow. That’s awesome.” When we were designing the robot, we were thinking about the competition from day one, and we wanted a very modular system. Specifically with the arm, we can yank one bolt and one connector, and we can take the arm off. It happens in a matter of minutes.”

Filed in Robots. Read more about NASA.

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