NASA has announced that it is building robots that would help space crews on their missions. However, some have questioned the necessity, stating that astronaut safety should be a top priority, especially after the Columbia disaster.
NASA researches are working on robotic technology but the agency was quick to clarify that should the robot project become reality, NASA astronauts would still be necessary for space missions.
The assistant director of the Johnson Space Center, Bonnie Dunbar said last week: "Robotics are still not the same as the human brain. Robots only do what they are programmed to do." The robots have been named "Robonauts" and are a prototype. Source