Valkyrie robot

Four sister robots built by NASA could be pioneers in the colonization of Mars, part of an advance construction team that sets up a habitat for more fragile human explorers. But first they're finding new homes on Earth and engineers to hone their skills.

The space agency has kept one Valkyrie robot at its birthplace, the Johnson Space Center in Houston. It has loaned three others to universities in Massachusetts and Scotland so professors and students can tinker with the 6-foot-tall, 300-pound humanoids and make them more autonomous.

Above: Researchers watch a six-foot-tall, 300-pound Valkyrie robot walk slowly at University of Massachusetts-Lowell's robotics center in Lowell, Mass. 

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