NASA Looks To ‘Star Wars’ For Building Space Bound Robots For Repairs

We didn’t make this up, NASA really are looking at Star Wars for solutions….

Beyond the general “space” conceit, NASA and Star Wars don’t have a ton of similarities. One is a very real government organization concerned with the complex realities of space exploration; the other is a science-fiction franchise about space wizards and with a very, very tenuous grasp of how physics work. But there are some useful scientific lessons we can still learn from Star Wars, at least according to one NASA robotics engineer.

W. Kris Verdeyen, who spent years working on NASA’s humanoid robot Valkyrie, argues that NASA should strive to create its own Star Wars-inspired droids. In fact, robots like R2-D2 or BB-8 have features and functions that could turn useful in our own space-bound bots, according to an article Verdeyen published today in the journal Science Robotics.

“NASA does not have quite the same need for battlefield fixes as the Rebel Alliance,” Verdeyen points out, but NASA has been creating its own anthropomorphic robots that could assist astronauts in space. Valkyrie, for example, is a NASA robot designed to test technologies for future robots that could replace astronauts in more dangerous situations on spacecraft. And in 2011, the humanoid Robonaut 2 began working on the International Space Station to help automate tasks like changing out air filters.

Read the full fascinating article at the link below.

VIAScience Robotics
James is an active member of the Star Wars collecting community, and is the Brand Director for Jedi News. James is also the host of the Star Wars Collectors Cast, and co-host of RADIO 1138 on the Jedi News Network.