NASA Thinks C-3PO Might Actually Work in Space. But BB-8? Not So Much
Droids in the Star Wars universe are cute and all, but in a world where we don’t have Death Stars or Millennium Falcons, would they be useful? Or, for that matter, possible? Actually, yes.
According to Brett Kennedy, a roboticist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the technology exists to build robots fairly similar to R2-D2 and C-3PO (update your holiday wish list now), and the latter is not unlike NASA’s Robonaut and Valkyrie droids. “There are even some humanoid systems that we have today that can out-perform a C-3PO system,” Kennedy says in the WIRED video above.
BB-8, the new droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, however, is not nearly as space-ready. In fact, his design makes him really sub-optimal for getting around the terrains of galaxies far, far away. “If you can imagine rolling a soccer ball along it, that’s a good surface for it, but how many places do you think you’ve got enough flat ground that you can actually roll a soccer ball?” Kennedy says. “But it looks cool!”
Find out more about the space-worthiness of the Star Wars droids in the video above.
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