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NASA releases footage of robot 'Valkyrie'

Scientists from the United States space agency NASA teamed up with the Johnson Space Center to test the agency's new robot Valkyrie, an android that has a head, two arms and two legs. The robot is expected to be sent to Mars in the future.

A humanoid robot known as Valkyrie that could one day walk on Mars has been showing off its skills in a new video.

Named after the female war spirits of Norse mythology, Valkyrie walks on two legs and has jointed arms and hands that can grasp objects.

Designed and built by NASA's Johnson Space Center, Valkyrie will walk on Mars before the first human explorers, who are expected to reach the Red Planet in the mid-2030s .

The humanoid design was chosen to make it easier for Valkyrie to work alongside people so that, for instance, no special ramps have to be provided to accommodate wheels.

In the video, Valkyrie is shown walking over a series of stepping stones in a curved, uneven path, without stumbling once.

All the decisions about where Valkyrie will place its foot next and how to counterbalance its weight are made autonomously, thanks to a control algorithm developed by IHMC Robotics, which acts as the robot's brain.

This algorithm gathers data about the environment using a spinning laser radar or "Lidar" system housed in its face - similar to those used in driverless cars.

The instrument measures the distance to objects by firing pulses of light at surfaces and timing how long it takes the reflected "echoes" to bounce back.

It then processes this data to identify flat "planar regions" that are suitable for stepping on, before plotting out footsteps to reach a specified location.

Maintaining balance is one of the biggest hurdles to be crossed when designing a walking humanoid robot, according to IHMC Robotics.

Valkyrie overcomes this problem by rapidly computing in real time how to alter its centre of mass position to stay upright.

The robot has no "ears" and cannot speak, but it is equipped with a pair of stereoscopic camera "eyes", cameras on its belly, and an intricate set of force sensors to help it react to touch and pressure.

The robot has a total of 34 "degrees of freedom" - essentially, modes in which it can move - but it is expected acquire more dexterous capabilities over the next few years.

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/nasas-valkyrie-humanoid-robot-one-10633818

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Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.

The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies. 

The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.

A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.

The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.

An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.


Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society


The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.


Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning  bodily life. Such technologies will  greatly enlarge  the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make  all  kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.


Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness  with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness  onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of  cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence,  expand human capabilities  and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times.  The final result  at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.


This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive!  Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.

Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots  will become affordable  and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however:  humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover,  prerequisites for a large-scale  expansion into outer space will be created as well.


Key elements of the project in the future

• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of  the project of "Immortality”.

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