NASA shows off it's robot Valkyrie for DARPA's upcoming Robotics Challenge

12/10/2013 - 00:00

The notable exception was NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC), which only released a piece of concept art that appeared to show a Robonaut-like humanoid, but didn't give much detail. And since then, NASA JSC has been extraordinarily secretive about what they've been working on. Naturally, we got a little bit curious, and back in October, IEEE Spectrum went to Houston for a preview of NASA JSC's DRC robot, Valkyrie.

Today, NASA is ready to share it with the world.

When we visited the JSC team to meet their DRC robot, we had no idea what to expect. Or rather, we were expecting to see something like Robonaut's torso on top of a pair of beefy legs. After having our passports scrutinized in exchange for JSC visitor badges, we were escorted to an enormous, windowless building that could have easily housed a modestly-sized spacecraft, and probably did at some point in the past. Inside, after negotiating a maze of dimly lit, narrow passages and a series of locked doors, we emerged into a room the approximate size of an IMAX theater, where NASA JSC team leader Nicolaus Radford introduced us to this...