Advancement in space travel has progressed leaps and bounds since man first walked on the Moon that faithful day in July of 1969. Humanity has seen Pluto up close, has landed a spacecraft back on Earth and has established its first asteroid defense department. Recently, Russian scientists have announced a new breakthrough that could possibly make space exploration safer and open up the universe even farther.
Just this week, researchers from Android Technics, a Russian state-run robotics firm, announced that they are currently working on humanoid robots that would eventually be sent into space. These "avatar robots" will be replacing cosmonauts on space mission that are deemed too dangerous. The project aims to not only cut spending in training cosmonauts but also explore the vastness of universe without risking human life.
"This is relevant, in particular, for exploring Mars and the moon where robots will be able to set up [research] stations, build premises and external infrastructure, assemble electric generators and other surface constructions without a direct human presence" explained Alexander Permyakov, Director General of Android Technics.
Russia however would not be the first country to send a humanoid robot to space. The Robonaut, which was built and designed by NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas, was launched back in 2011. The recent iteration of Robonaut, Robonaut 2, was subsequently sent to the International Space Station and is the first dexterous humanoid robot in space.
China has also chimed in on the efforts to create humanoid robots. Last year, China's space Agency unveiled a new innovation in the form of "Xiaotian." Xiaotian, which translate to "little sky," is a robot developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. that remarkably looks like Marvel's Iron Man. According to reports, the robot has flexible arms that is capable of almost human like movements.