NASA talks holodecks and motion-controlled rovers at GDC 2013

Posted by Shane McGlaun

One of my all-time favorite science fiction series is Star Trek The Next Generation. And to be honest, I've always preferred the episodes where the holodeck played a major role in the storyline.

Like many others, I hope to live to see the day when holodecks are actually a reality. Fortunately, it appears that NASA is interested in taking such technology out of the realm of science fiction.

Indeed, NASA reps were on hand at Game Developers Conference to give a presentation offering glimpses at some of the cool technology the space agency sees for the future.

One part of presentation showed NASA's Victor Luo walking over a simulated asteroid surface back at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The space agency also showed off an interesting motion-control system used to maneuver robotic hands and to land a simulated Mars Rover in the Kinect game Mars Rover Landing. During the presentation, NASA's Doctor Jeff Norris also talked a bit about his wishes and goals for the future - such as the holodeck.

He also mentioned the future of humans exploring the universe using robotic avatars.

"We all desperately want Star Trek, and I do believe that humanity’s destiny is to climb aboard starships and explore the universe…I want us to build a future of shared immersive exploration," said Norris.

"Everyone exploring the universe through robotic avatars, not just peering at numbers or pictures on a screen, but stepping inside a holodeck and standing on those distant worlds."