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NASA creates super robot dubbed Valkyrie

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Saturday, December 14, 2013, 7:28 -

It looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie, but NASA's new Valkyrie super robot is no Hollywood special effect. 

It took NASA nine months, from design to build, to produce this humanoid machine. 

The agency says the robot is capable to enter disaster zones and provide search and rescue functions -- and maybe one day even go to mars. 

"Likely NASA will send robots ahead of astronauts to the planet," says the agency. "These robots will help prepare the way for the human explorers and when the humans arrive, the robots and the humans will work together -- working together in that tight relationship." 

But first Valkyrie has another mission: to compete in next week's robotic challenge, sponsored by the department of defense. 

"The Valkyrie robot that NASA Johnson Space Flight Center has been building is really an extraordinary machine. Of all the robots that we have there, I think it's the one with the most degrees of freedom, the most joints that can move around, and it's really quite sophisticated and I have very high hopes for it. It's related to the robonaut, which is a robot on the space station right now, but the robnonaut doesn't have any legs. It can't move around. And so, what NASA Johnson Space Flight Center is trying to do is to see whether they can add that capability that the robonaut has right now to use its arms and to perceive things with its head and also add some mobility to the platform. It's very exciting." 

Seventeen teams from around the world will be competing in the trials, where teams will attempt to guide their robots through physical tasks that include testing mobility, dexterity and perception.

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