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February 04, 2011

New Space Robo-naut

NASA has designed a new 'Robonaut 2' that they hope to send up into space to aid astronauts with special missions. A key component of these robots is "dextrous manipulation" which a heightened level of dexterity that's far more precise than human dexterity. NASA hopes to use these robots in capacities that are currently too dangerous for humans.
R2 will be sent to the International Space Station and if all goes well, will eventually become a permanent fixture of ISS, taking over simple, repetitive, or especially perilous tasks. The robot is the second in a line of several humanoid robots made by NASA in collaboration with GM.

http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/myexploration/index2.html

Posted by saraogar at February 4, 2011 01:26 PM

Comments

The article on this was really interesting. Apparently, the main difference between R2 and R1 is the fact that R2 is capable of speeds up to four times that of R1. One can see why this would be so useful to astronauts. It sounds like not only is it going to help with repetitive/dangerous tasks on the ISS, but GM may also use something similarly developed to build safer cars and plants. Though I do think it's slightly creepy that these NASA bots could potentially eliminate the need for human work force in the automobile industry, I think it's a great idea to help ensure our astronauts safety. And the best part? R2 is making his mainstream media debut on Superbowl Sunday. Next thing you know he'll be as famous as Betty White.

Posted by: kailjoyb at February 4, 2011 09:11 PM

This is pretty cool. I can imagine some of the tasks on the ISS to be quite perilous and anything to reduce this risk is great. I see where the above comment is going, but I think machines already play an integral part in the automobile industry as well as many others. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, most of those in power care more about speed of production and money than people.

Posted by: hartadam at February 17, 2011 03:42 PM

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