NASA's space station humanoid Robonaut finally gets its legs
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 8:26 PM -
The first out-of-this-world humanoid robot is finally getting its space legs.
For three years, Robonaut 2 (R2) has had to manage from the waist up at the International Space Station (ISS).
This new pair of legs means the experimental robot won't be stuck on a pedestal and can go mobile.
The robot's legs are packed aboard a SpaceX supply ship that launched Friday, more than a month late. The cargo arrives on Easter Sunday morning.
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"NASA has explored with robots for more than a decade, from the stalwart rovers on Mars to R2 on the station," said Michael Gazarik, NASA's associate administrator for space technology in Washington. "Our investment in robotic technology development is helping us to bolster productivity by applying robotics technology and devices to fortify and enhance individual human capabilities, performance and safety in space."
It's the next big step in NASA's quest to develop robotic helpers for astronauts.
With legs, the 8-foot Robonaut will be able to climb throughout the ISS, performing mundane cleaning chores and fetching things for the human crew. Each leg has seven joints.
Instead of feet, there are grippers, each with a light, camera and sensor.
Learn more about R2's endeavors here.
Files from the Associated Press