Feeds

ROBONAUT to find feet after Monday ISS supply mission

Legless robot gets hardware upgrade

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

On Monday, SpaceX is scheduled to fire off its third resupply mission to the International Space Station, and among the nearly 5,000 pounds of supplies will be a pair of robotic legs for the station's mechanical inhabitant.

Robonaut 2 (R2) is a humanoid robot torso with arms designed and built by the NASA Johnson Space Center Texas. The hardware helpmate has been in low-Earth orbit since 2011, helping astronauts deal with problems both inside and outside the ISS. Now, after its legs are fitted, the robot will be able to take on more responsibilities.

"NASA has explored with robots for more than a decade, from the stalwart rovers on Mars to R2 on the station," said Michael Gazarik, NASA's associate administrator for space technology in Washington.

"Our investment in robotic technology development is helping us to bolster productivity by applying robotics technology and devices to fortify and enhance individual human capabilities, performance and safety in space."

robonaut2

Hurrah, I'm no longer legless

Robonaut's legs aren't as limited as our human limbs; each has seven joints and the "feet" are manipulators that enable the machine to anchor itself while using both hands on complex jobs, and cameras to ensure it gets a solid grip on walkways and safety handles.

Once the legs have been delivered to the ISS, the crew will affix them to Robonaut's torso and begin running through series of software upgrades to its operating system that will allow the robot to be either programmed for day-to-day functions or to act under remote control from one of the astronauts.

R2 has already distinguished itself in both fields. The upper part of the robot has been designed along humanoid lines so that it can use the same tools and instrument controls as its human counterparts, but the new legs will give R2 a much wider range. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.