Shocking video shows NASA military robot exploding due to battery failure (VIDEO)
The space agency’s Jet Propulsion Lab was preparing to move its DARPA RoboSimian droid when the machine, created for search and rescue missions, exploded into a fiery ball.
The researchers had changed its lithium battery and left it to charge over lunch, Wired reports. Smoke is seen coming from the Robosimian shortly before it bursts into flames.
An intern using a CO2 fire extinguisher tried but failed to put out the fire. When firefighters arrived at the scene, they had to drag the robot outside where they extinguished the blaze.
NASA is yet to release its final report into the incident, but the lithium battery has been confirmed as being responsible for the explosion, likely from a damaged cell.
According to Lynne Lee, the lab’s mishap program manager, the explosion was as powerful as a stick of dynamite.
Used in a variety of NASA projects, including the Curiosity rover, lithium batteries are “an essential part of power in NASA,” Lee said.