NASA: Humanoid robot wakes up on space station
It's alive! After six months onboard the orbiter, astronauts power up Robonaut 2 (See video below)
Computerworld - The humanoid robot on board the International Space Station was brought to life on Monday.
The robot, dubbed Robonaut 2 or R2, was fired up almost six months after being brought up to the space station by the crew of the space shuttle Discovery on its last mission before retirement. Space station engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Mike Fossum assembled the robot and powered it up for the first time.
The astronauts, according to NASA, did not give Robonaut 2 a command to move but they did run a test of its electronics, which focused on the thermal response sensors in its joints.
The space agency did not say when the robot will be on the move inside the station. After nearly a year of tests to see how the robot responds on the space station and how its human counterparts react to it, Robonaut 2 is expected to perform tasks such as cleaning and basic maintenance inside the station, as well as to help astronauts outside on spacewalks.
The 300-pound robot has been in the works for about 11 years. R2 was built with a total of 38 PowerPC processors, including 36 embedded chips, which control its joints. Each of the embedded processors communicates with the main chip in the robot.
At first, the robot will be connected to a pedestal on the space station and will only be able to work in place. By the end of the year, NASA hopes to ship one or two leglike appendages to be attached to Robonaut 2, giving it more mobility around the station.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Emerging Technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.
- Market Overview: Digital Customer Experience Delivery Platforms Forrester states that businesses today struggle to understand and use the tools necessary to create and manage unified, multichannel digital customer experiences across...
- The Growing Demand for Rich Media This white paper discusses how IBM Customer Experience Suite Rich Media Edition can automate rich media workflows, from collaborating with creative agencies and...
- Three Best Practices to Help Enterprises Overcome BYOD Challenges The new Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) environment presents challenges for IT managers and business leaders. This paper discusses how IT managers can address those challenges,...
- Intelligent Imaging for Improved Banking Performance and Profitability A new generation of "Intelligent Imaging" solutions has emerged that is helping banks remove the burden of paper in legacy processes, like loan...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Emerging Technologies White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!