R2 poses with the Expedition 26 commander astronaut Scott Kelly at the ISS
The first human-like astronaut robot – Robonaut 2 or R2 – has awakened at the International Space Station – and already started tweeting.”Those electrons feel GOOD! One small step for man, one giant leap for tinman kind,” said the robot’s first tweet.R2 was brought to the ISS in February 2011 on board of space shuttle Discovery.It has been designed to work alongside humans, helping them both inside and outside the station.Although there were tweets sent from R2′s account @astrorobonaut before it “woke up”, now its nearly 40,000 followers can rest assured the robot is indeed actively “tweeting” as its circuits are operational.It is even responding to questions and sending birthday greetings.R2 weighs 136kg 300 pounds, has a torso, two human-like arms and hands, and wears a golden helmet with a visor on its head.Continue reading the main story “Start Quote This project exemplifies the promise that a future generation of robots can have both in space and on Earth”John Olson NASAThe “tinman” has yet to get its legs, but for now it will stay attached to a fixed base.At some point though NASA will supply it with one leg – for climbing through the station’s corridors.Eventually, the torso may be mounted on a four-wheeled rover called Centaur 2 for possible explorations of Lunar and Martian surfaces.Truly humanoidThere are currently four Robonauts on Earth – but R2 is much more advanced.According to NASA, the robot is “capable of reaching speeds more than four times faster than R1, is more compact, is more dexterous, and includes a deeper and wider range of sensing.”R2 has been primarily designed to show how dexterous robots cope in a weightless environment – but NASA hopes that eventually it will get out of the station to assist its human colleagues on spacewalks.”R2 is the first humanoid robot in space,” said NASA in a statement on its website.”R2, now unpacked, will be initially operated inside the Destiny laboratory for operational testing, but over time, both its territory and its applications could expand.”However there was bad news for robot fans hoping to see the new superstar on its return. “There are no plans to return R2 to Earth,” said Nasa.
via BBC News – Robonaut R2 tweets from outer space.