There are some terrains too dangerous for humans to explore. That's especially true at NASA. While it's developing an ATLAS-like robot called to handle some of the most dangerous work, the agency is also turning to another technology to pave the way for a Robonautic future: virtual reality.
One of the potential uses for Robonaut is as a sort of robotic avatar, with NASA personnel controlling the robot and seeing through its eyes. There's been some research into remote controlled robots from the ISS, such as or Interact Centaur. In addition, some versions of a crewed mission to Mars call for a Phobos landing, while astronauts remote control advanced Mars robots from that orbital perch.
But while Robonaut is under development, NASA and Sony are collaborating on a game demo called Mighty Morphenaut, which involves controlling a robot on a space shuttle, interacting with the environment and completing tasks. It's designed to interface with the PlayStation VR, meaning users will see through the eyes of the robot as it interacts with the environment.
The demo reportedly accounts for the delay between when an action is sent and when a machine performs it. This isn't an error in the machines so much as a barrier in physics. Communication with all of NASA's active planetary probes has a long delay based on how far away it is. A round trip "call" to Curiosity could take as little as eight minutes or as much as 40 minutes, as Mars can vary between four and 20 light minutes from Earth. From the orbit to the ground isn't even a fraction of that distance, but it's enough to cause a lag (just watch any via satellite TV interview.)
So some day, Robonaut could perform dangerous experiments on Mars or explore treacherous terrain. And we'll know how to control it thanks to a video game.