Robonaut 2 is a humanoid sent to the International Space Station to help astronauts with various tasks. It can grasp objects, flip switches, and high-five crew members after successfully performing tasks.
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Did You Know?
In May 2018, after seven years in orbit, Robonaut returned to Earth for repairs. NASA says it may go back to space, once fixed.
Robonaut thinks with its stomach: With its head full of sensors, Robonaut only has enough room for a computer in its belly.
When Robonaut launched to the ISS in February 2011, it became the first humanoid robot in space.
On board the ISS, the robot was intended to work side by side with astronauts, performing repetitive tasks like measuring air quality and cleaning handrails.
- Dexterous manipulation of human tools. Able to lift 9 kg (20 lb). Equipped with autonomous and teleoperation modes (from the ISS or Earth).
- 101.6 cm | 40 in (waist to head)
- N/A cm | N/A in
- 78.74 cm | 31 in
- 149.7 kg | 330 lb
- N/A km/h | N/A mph
- More than 350 sensors, including custom six-axis load cells in the hands, four cameras behind the visor (two for stereo vision and two auxiliary), and infrared camera in the mouth area for depth perception.
- 54 servomotors
- Power conversion system housed inside backpack for tethered operation. Backpack with batteries for untethered operation.
- 38 PowerPC processors
- DEGREES OF FREEDOM (DOF)
- 42 (Arm: 7 DoF x 2; Hand: 12 DoF x 2; Neck: 3 DoF; Waist: 1 DoF)
- Primarily aluminum with steel.
- $2.5 million
The Robonaut project began in 1997 with the goal of developing a humanoid robot that could assist astronauts with a variety of manipulation tasks. The result was R1, a prototype robot that could perform maintenance tasks or be mounted on a set of wheels. In 2007, NASA Johnson Space Center and General Motors teamed up to develop a next-generation Robonaut. R2 was unveiled in 2010, and NASA mission managers were so impressed that they decided to make room on a shuttle mission and send the robot to the International Space Station. R2 was carried to the ISS aboard space shuttle Discovery in February 2011. Its primary job for now is demonstrating to engineers how such dexterous robots behave in space, though the hope is that, through upgrades, Robonaut will eventually take over tasks too dangerous or repetitive for astronauts, as well as venture outside the station to help spacewalkers make repairs and perform scientific work.
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Thu, February 15, 2018
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