NASA’s humanoid robot, which delivered by the final Discovery mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in February 2011, has opened its eyes and shares what it sees via Twitter.
“Those electrons feel GOOD!,” @astrorobonaut tweeted Monday to its nearly 40,000 followers. “One small step for man, one giant leap for tinman kind.”
R2’s arrival on the International Space Station is an important step in space exploration. This is the first humanoid robot that has been taken into space, and many specialists consider that R2 can be a model for future generations of humanoid robots that would be launched aboard a spacecraft orbiting Earth.
R2 weighs 136 pounds and consists of a trunk fixed to the floor of the space station, arms and a head equipped with five cameras. The robot uses its arms to help crew members in the laboratory, each of which can lift about 10 pounds.
R2 is designed to be updated regularly. In the future, NASA will send new parts in space for the “upgrade”. As for now, it cannot move but a pair of legs has been designed and may reach the ISS in 2013.
The robot doesn’t have autonomy and is subjected to the commands sent from the ground by its engineers.
NASA and General Motors have built the robot in 15 years.
Out of the four Robonauts on Earth, but R2 is considered to be the most 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.”