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NASA and GM to build robotic astronauts

NASA and GM to build robotic astronauts
Bangalore: NASA and General Motors are working together to develop and build humanoid robots that can work side-by-side with humans. The aim is to build robots that can help astronauts during dangerous mission and help GM build cars and automotive plants, reports Computer World.

"This cutting-edge robotics technology holds great promise, not only for NASA, but also for the nation," said Doug Cooke, Associate Administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. "I'm very excited about the new opportunities for human and robotic exploration these versatile robots provide across a wide range of applications."
Earlier this week NASA had announced that the White House's proposed budget for the agency includes $3 billion for developing robotics, with a focus on preparing for robotic precursor missions. NASA is planning to land robots on the moon, for example, so they can gather information and send back data and video in advance of future human space missions.

Now, NASA and GM are working with engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston to create what they're calling the Robonaut. If the project comes to fruition, it would be NASA's second Robonaut.

"Our challenge today is to build machines that can help humans work and explore in space," said Mike Coats, a Director at Johnson Space Center. "Working side-by-side with humans, or going where the risks are too great for people, machines like Robonaut will expand our capability for construction and discovery."

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