by Lori Keith for Johnson Space Center
Houston TX (SPX) May 01, 2012
NASA's first dexterous humanoid robot, has successfully hitched a ride to the International Space Station. Built for the specific purpose of working on the space station, its robotic hands work like human hands with the ability to use human tools to assist astronauts with tasks that are simple, repetitive or potentially dangerous.
The technology development demonstration will serve as a springboard to help explore and evolve new robotic capabilities in space and on Earth.
Robonaut is a joint project of NASA and General Motors (GM) to improve robotic technology and capabilities for future space exploration platforms, along with advanced vehicle safety systems and manufacturing plants.
GM expects Robonaut to validate manufacturing technologies that will improve the health and safety of GM team members throughout the world.
In a recent interview with Nic Radford, Robonaut deputy project manager from NASA's Johnson Space Center, he shared, "This is one of the first payloads ever on the space station that can actually impart forces in its environment."
Radford added that an ultra-sensitive, built-in safety system can automatically power down Robonaut if it makes unexpected contact with astronauts or equipment on the station.
How many ways this technology can be used is yet to be defined, though many people have envisioned interacting with robots their whole lives - even the Jetsons and the Robinsons "lost in space" had a robotic humanoid.
"Our whole lab has this sense of ushering in this new paradigm and we are really excited to be in the front of that," Radford said.
During the interview, Radford talks about Robonaut shaking hands with Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank, as well as what the future holds for the robot aboard the International Space Station.
With human-like hands and arms, Robonaut is able to use the same tools station crew members use.
This technology could potentially change the way we explore our solar system and how the world manages manufacturing and other processes.
You can watch Robonaut working the task board in this additional short video, demonstrating its dexterity, vision system, tactile feedback sensors and remote control capabilities on the station.
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Watch NASA TV via Space.TV
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|