NASA adds humanoid Robonaut 2 to its STS-133 mission

NASA has recruited a 300 pound robot to help with a trip to the International Space Station in November.

The humanoid Robonaut 2 (or R2 for short) resembles you and me a bit and is specifically designed to operate like you and me, a bit. It consists of a head and torso with two arms and two five-fingered hands. Advanced control and sensor technologies allow R2 to operate as an assistant to the station astronauts.

However, if it thinks it will be travelling with fellow astronauts on the Discovery space craft, it’s going to be sorely disappointed when it’s shoved into a foam padded stowage unit.

NASA’s deputy Robonaut project manager Nic Radford along with the rest of the engineering team showed off R2’s capabilities to earlier this week at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre.  

Mr Radford said that R2 would join the team as part of the STS-133 mission that is currently scheduled to lift off Nov. 1.

It will be the first human-like robot to become a permanent resident at the space station, and he’s become such a highly valued member that he even has his own Twitter account (@AstroRobonaut). However, it seems it still has a few problems with its spelling and communication with its human handlers posting updates for the automaton’s mission.

That said it hasn’t stopped him boasting. Last night he Tweeted: ” I can curl 20 pounds. I have 200 sensors that update my “thoughts” 300 times a second so that I can react to changes around me.”

With attitudes like that, we’re not surprised you’re not travelling along with those astronauts, punk.

Image via Nasa