Japanese Coop Making Humanoid Moon Robot

A group of Japanese manufacturers are getting together to build a a bipedal, moon-faring robot.

Now I’m not sure if the endeavor will produce a sassy Futurama-esque robot or a sad Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy version, but I’m really hoping of the former. I am sure, however, that the Japanese coop named Astro-Technology SOHLA will include a sweet laser sword — it is the land of anime after all.

The coop is looking to do the build the robot on the cheap too. They estimate they can complete the project with just $10 million. Doesn’t sound cheap? The Spirit and Opportunity mission set us back a total of $820 million.

Sure that was Mars, but this is a F&$%ING robot!

The group also stated that they hope to have their robot, which they will name Maido-kun, hitch a ride to the moon with a robotic surveying rover that the Japan’s Aerospace Agency is looking to launch as soon as 2015.

The Yomiuri noted that JAXA’s team had considered a bipedal robot, but passed on the idea due to technical difficulties with the sandy moon surface. In response to such thought, SOHLA President Hideo Sugimoto stated, “It’s easier to encapsulate romanticism or enthusiasm with a robot that is similar in shape to humans. We want to build a robot that has the appeal of entrusting the dream of going to space.”

It sure is romantic, it really gets me thinking about the real future of space travel. With the Space Plane launching just a week ago, and now a robot, space exploration doesn’t seem as dangerous.

Hypothetically, we could send these space planes and walking robots running willy-nilly all over the galaxy. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about the grim but imminent prospect of human space deaths.

These robots could plunk down on Mars and start building astronaut housing or take that trip to an asteroid that President Barack Obama has been talking about sans all the danger.

I just hope there is an easy-to-find off switch when the robot goes crazy and stalks our astronauts on the moon or mars.

[Via Slashdot]

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