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Robonaut 2 humanoid robot

NASA may be facing some serious budgetary cuts on many of their projects, but their Robonaut program in partnership with General Motors is going strong 10 years after the first robot was built. The second generation Robonaut 2 humanoid robot designed for assisting astronauts in space was recently revealed to the public and I have to admit that it looks great.

Robonaut is only half a humanoid robot because it does not have legs; however, it is blessed with a state-of-the-art upper body including a pair of powerful arms and dexterous hands (both are nicely demonstrated in the video at the end of this article.) Even though the first generation robot was the results of a partnership between NASA and DARPA, the latest prototype is the result of a collaboration between NASA and GM; the latter hope that by contributing to this program they will be able to develop technologies that can help make driving and operating a manufacturing plant safer.

We don’t know of much about  the technical details of the new robot. All we know is that NASA envisions robots like this working next to human astronauts in space. The first generation Robonaut was designed for remote controled use; it is not clear if the new robot can function autonomously. In the below video researchers from NASA and GM introduce Robonaut 2.

[source NASA]

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Posted in AI & Robotics.