NASA Robotics Engineer Says We Need 'Star Wars'-Inspired Space Robots

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Star Wars heavyweights BB-8 and R2-D2 are not only masters of wit and extremely understated fashion choices, they're also—according to at least one NASA robotics engineer—the perfect blueprint for what NASA should be trying to do with their own fleet of jovial robots.

Engineer William Kris Verdeyen makes that argument in a new paper for the peer-reviewed journal Science, first spotted by the Verge Wednesday. In the piece, Verdeyen details several of the droids' specific features that could stand to benefit future NASA projects. One is their ability to pull off nick-of-time spacecraft repairs even when a full-on battle is underway, a scenario the failed steak salesman in the White House hopes will come true soon via his militarized "Space Force."


Verdeyen, who worked on NASA's R5 Valkyrie project for years, also touted the droids' skill at nailing tasks without the assistance of humans. Even the most advanced 2018-era robots, NASA or otherwise, aren't at that level just yet. However, the future of space travel will most certainly require bots with better brains. All told, these theoretical Star Wars–inspired droids will ideally boast the "repair capabilities and intelligence" of R2-D2 and BB-8, with the physical characteristics of C-3PO or Rogue One standout K-2SO.

In semi-related Star Wars news, you can currently grab a digital copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi that's stacked with bonus features like a music-only cut of the film and a feature-length documentary. Maybe do that while you wait on these droids to be real.

The Last Jedi’s out today in the states for digital download, blu in two weeks. Of all the special features, my favorite one is kinda hidden, so wanted to call it out. If you buy the movie anywhere online (or the blu) you have access to a music only version of TLJ.

— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) March 13, 2018

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