Valkyrie robot

"It needs to be able to communicate back to Earth, very clearly and concisely, what's going on," said Holly Yanco, a computer science professor who directs UMass-Lowell's robotics center and is an expert on human-robot interactions.

A time delay between communications from Earth to Mars means humans won't be able to remotely control robots that will need to build structures and do emergency repair work.

Above: Holly Yanco, director of UMass Lowell's New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation Center, talks about the Valkyrie robot in Lowell, Mass. 

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