NASA announces robot naming contest; winner will walk away with $1000

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NASA, the US space agency, is prepping the launch of a new free-flying robot to the International Space Station (ISS) three years from now and has opened up a contest for naming the robot. The winner of the challenge will receive $1,000.

“We have this new free-flying robot that we are building. We do not know what to call it. ‘Free-flying robot’ sounds kind of boring so we are asking you to actually name the robot for us,” said Jason Crusan, director of NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems division.

The second runner-up will receive $500 while third and fourth-place winners will get $250 each.

The new robot will join other free-flying robots on the ISS to be used on the orbiting outpost.

“These ‘free-flying robots’ will eventually extend the research and exploration capabilities of astronauts, as they are capable of working during off-hours and (eventually) in extreme environments,” NASA officials said.

To participate in the challenge, register on the website of Topcoder, a company that administers contests in computer programming, Space.com reported.