Russia is developing robots with artificial intelligence to send to the International Space Stations that could take on tasks dangerous for humans, like maintenance space walks.
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin revealed that the country plans to develop and send an AI powered "avatar" to space as a member of the Russian "national orbital station." It's all part of an initiative to put military technology to scientific use.
There are currently two prototype robots, including one named Fyodor that is basically a torso with two arms. It's controlled with a suit that a person wears, allowing he or she to control the robot through remote copycat motions.
Another prototype involves another human-like robot with AI that can be controlled by an operator or through specific programming. It can also stand back up if it falls over, though that may not be helpful in zero gravity.
You can check out Fyodor in action below.
These robots are aimed at taking over jobs that can be dangerous for humans in space, which is never more true than during space walks. Walks are generally limited to less than 10 hours at a time for astronauts and can prove lethal for any number of reasons.
Robots, on the other hand, will be able to stay out longer and be able to perform more intense or detailed work, with no risk of getting distracted and not requiring bulky space suits. At any rate, if there are any complications, a robot can easily be replaced.