The sentence you are about to read is completely true, and I swear is not stolen from a sci-fi comic book: Sony and NASA have co-developed a training tool aimed at teaching scientists how to control humanoid robots, in space, using virtual reality - specifically, PlayStation VR. Even better, its name is evocative of one of your favorite television shows, Power Rangers. Meet "Mighty Morphenaut."
Directing a simple robot like a rover is relatively easy, but new advances in technology mean that robots with humanoid features (opens in new tab) (such as arms, hands, wrists, and fingers) are now possible. While more complex, these robots are more versatile and can handle more jobs that a space voyage may require. Mighty Morphenaut helps remote operators learn to control these machines by giving control of a digital robot's hands via PlayStation Move controllers, and simulating the time delay engineers on Earth would experience as they sent signals to their metallic counterparts.
This sort of technology could lead to all kinds of advancement in space exploration. Imagine being able to send an android to the surface of Mars and control it as if you were there. Virtual reality isn't playing around here.
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