With artificial intelligence getting more advanced, it’s not surprising to learn that NASA has developed a robot that is eerily human-like. The new R2 humanoid robot is in test mode, showing humans how it can handle living on Mars.
Robonaut2 (R2) has been based on the International Space Station (ISS) since 2011, where the prototype is assisting astronauts as well as carrying out operations and repairs deemed too risky for humans.
Now NASA is working with a crowd-sourcing website to design tools that R2 can use to further help the crew.
Through NASA’s Tournament Lab, the agency has partnered with Freelancer.com to tap into the site’s 16 million users, who they want to help create CAD (computer aided design) models of tools to be used by R2 on the ISS.
These could also eventually be used on Mars, where it is hoped R2 and subsequent models could be sent.
Freelancer.com is running crowdsourcing contests for users to solve complex problems astronauts face during space exploration, as well as help to build tools with which R2 can carry out daily chores.
So far challenges to create five objects R2 can use, including a grapple hook and large trigger flashlight have been completed, but nine more are still available for budding designers.
These include a cordless drill, its charger, a sheathed hose, and stands for blankets and dumbbells.
Freelancer.com’s CEO Matt Barrie said: “We are honoured to welcome NASA to the 16 million strong user Freelancer.com community.
“Nasa Tournament Lab working with Freelancer.com clearly shows that crowdsourcing solutions has become an essential part of creativity and innovation and that there is a strong demand to develop ingenious and world-leading solutions online.
“We look forward to collaborating with NASA on the cutting edge of space exploration, and seeing the CAD designs our freelancers produce for Robonaut 2.”
NASA is looking at continuing to use crowdsourcing sites like Freelancer.com to help it develop tools and technologies for other space exploration tasks.
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