Thursday, February 24, 2011

NASA's Robonaut 2 - Sophisticated Automaton, Evidence of Nerdery

NASA is currently counting down to space shuttle Discovery's final launch, but this notable last is also a first.  The crew aboard Discovery includes the world's first humanoid robot destined to be an active member of the ISS crew: the Robonaut 2.  That's right.  It's R-2.

But this R-2 is much more dexterous and only slightly less adorable than the Star Wars version.  And if NASA's images of the earth-bound Robonaut are any indication, space is about to get a little dorkier.  Here are some of my favorite images from the R-2's website and Flickr photostream:

Gotta beef up before launch, that torso-only spacesuit leaves 
little to the imagination. 

R-2, you're so vain.  I bet you think that article is about you.
(note: it is)

Yeah, being an advanced robot is alright.  But check out this sweet smartphone.
 (note: R-2 maintains its own Twitter feed)
An earlier version of the Robonaut. His hatred for the Jedi is
only mildly assuaged by his shiny new ears.   
If you don't come down from there, we're blasting off without you.
(note: the chariot is for mobility on earth, only the torso is going to space.)

1 comment: