Space Robotics

First Humanoid Robot in space!

Posted 25 Feb 2011 at 03:46 UTC by IKE_RobotsPodcast Share This

A few hours ago the space shuttle Discovery took off for its final flight. Among its cargo it carries the Robonaut2 humanoid robot that will be deployed to the ISS. Robonaut 2 or R2 is humanlike in appearance because it was designed to perform similar to human tasks. It has a torso, two 7dof arms with a 12doF hand each and a head where its vision equipment is placed. It can reach and grasp objects and tools and it is also capable of holding and handling soft materials like a cloth or an envelope. Robonaut2 is the latest step of a 15-year-old effort by NASA to develop a humanoid robot that will be able to operate alongside humans in the demanding environment of space. The Robonaut program started in 1997 with the first prototype and GM joined in 2006 to assist the development of the more advanced R2. It will be permanently installed in the Unity node of the International Space Station and during the next months it will be deployed for its first test in the Destiny Laboratory. Initially it will be evaluated and used for teaching engineers how a dexterous robot behaves in space. In the near future it will gradually receive software and hardware updates (possibly a lower body) and it will be engaged in simple or more elaborate tasks.
Robonaut2 Fact Sheet (PDF, 3.4 MB) , NASA Robonaut videos.

Amazing launch...., posted 26 Feb 2011 at 15:25 UTC by nradford » (Master)

We brought our Centaur configuration of the robot out to KSC to see the launch from the press site. What an amazing experience. If you've never seen a shuttle launch, beg, borrow or steal to get to one of the last two. You will not be disappointed.

The Team is really excited to usher in the age of robots working elbow to elbow and shoulder to shoulder with crew on the International Space Station.

Godspeed R2.

-Nic Radford

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