NASA in Houston, Texas, is presently testing Valkyrie, a massive humanoid robot towering at a height of 6 feet 2 inches and weighing a whopping 300 pounds. This robot is designed to assist in damaged areas following disasters and could potentially aid in future space missions. Resembling a person, Valkyrie has a head, torso, two arms, and two legs. Engineers are optimistic that, with proper programming, these robots can perform tasks akin to those of humans using similar tools.

Shaun Azimi, the leader of NASA’s Dexterous Robotics Team, mentioned that these robots could handle hazardous duties in space, such as cleaning solar panels or repairing malfunctioning equipment outside spacecraft. This would allow astronauts to focus on exploration rather than perilous tasks. Azimi clarified that the objective is not to replace humans but to handle monotonous, dirty, or hazardous jobs. Collaborating with companies like Apptronik, based in Austin, Texas, NASA is learning from robots designed for Earth. Apptronik is crafting Apollo, a robot intended for tasks in warehouses and factories, facilitating the movement of items. By early 2025, Apptronik aims to deploy these robots, emphasizing Apollo’s extended operation and rapid battery exchange for consistent efficiency. CEO Jeff Cardenas sees potential for Apollo’s expansion beyond warehouses, possibly into retail or other spaces. NASA foresees adaptable robots like Apollo contributing to space missions after improvements and thorough testing.