General Motors and NASA engineers continue to prepare Robonaut 2 for its planned September mission to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Discovery, GM said today in a statement.
This new generation robot can use its hands to do work beyond the scope of prior machines.
Using dexterous, human-like robots capable of intricate work is not new to the aerospace industry, of course. The original Robonaut, a humanoid robot designed for space travel, was built by the software, robotics and simulation division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in a collaborative effort with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency 10 years ago
R2 can work safely alongside people, a necessity both on Earth and in space. This new generation robot can use its hands to do work beyond the scope of prior machines. (See NASA and GM Working on Robotic Technology)
GM and NASA engineering teams are currently checking on some of the key technologies employed by the “humanoid” robot, including advanced sensor and vision systems.
R2, while not nearly as cute as R2-D2 of Star Wars fame, is faster, more dexterous and a more technologically advanced robot than previous, non-movie versions.
No word if R2 has a taser, though.
At least people, so far, are doing the design work. Moreover, a human writes this story.