UMass Lowell Rover Hawks:
NASA RASC-AL Robo-Ops 2013

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Back at JSC

Hello, Rover Hawk supporters. Some of us from UMass Lowell are back in Houston at JSC, but not to compete. Instead, we're learning how to use an awesome new robot, Valkyrie, that will be housed at the NERVE Center.
NASA is still putting the units through their paces; in the photos above, the robot does not have its forearms and hands attached. NASA is going to deliver Valkyrie to the NERVE Center in February. We're working with Profs. Taskin Padir and Rob Platt at Northeastern to help NASA develop the robots for NASA's Space Robotics Challenge. There are only four of these robots in the world; one will be at JSC, one at MIT, one at the University of Edinburgh, and one at UML.

Today, our first day here, we were taken on tours of JSC's robotics facilities, ISS Mission Control, and Apollo Mission Control. Carlos Ibarra-Lopez, who drove the RoverHawk during the competition in 2013, is here at JSC for the training and had a chance to reenact a photo we took of Jim Dalphond during our Apollo Mission Control tour in 2013 (which was also put next to a photo of Carlos from NERVE Mission Control).

Jordan Allspaw is also here at JSC for the two week Valkyrie training. Here he's trying out NASA's SAFER jet pack, although only on the ground.

Spidernaut, Spideranut....

Robot Park at sunset, as we exited NASA JSC:

If you'd like to see Valkyrie in person, please put the next NERVE open house on your calendar: Monday, 4 April 2016 from 6-8pm.