Robonaut kicks into life on space station

Robonaut kicks into life on space station

Summary: The R2B robot has undergone power testing on the International Space Station, where it will eventually help astronauts by carrying out menial and dangerous tasks

TOPICS: After Hours

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  • Robonaut with arm ties

    The Robonaut is made of aluminium and steel and weighs 150kg.

    During testing, the ISS crew tied red tape around its arms to to make sure nobody on board used them as a handle, avoiding accidents.

    Photo credit: Nasa

  • Robonaut's team at mission control

    The Nasa team on the ground left the power flowing to Robonaut for two hours to test its electrical response, which would tell them whether its wiring or connections had come loose during the trip into space.

    The 'power soak' check was also meant to test the thermal levels of R2B's electrics in microgravity.

    Photo credit: Nasa

  • Robonaut in position

    Developed in partnership with General Motors, the one-metre tall robot is designed to mimic the human body so that it can use the same tools and work in the same environments as astronauts. It's mounted on a pedestal rather than having legs, although the Robonaut design is expected to receive lower limbs next year.

    The job of R2B is to carry out dangerous or tedious tasks, allowing astronauts to get on with more important experiments.

    Photo credit: Nasa

Topic: After Hours

Karen Friar

About Karen Friar

Karen Friar is news editor for ZDNet in the UK, based in London. She started out in film journalism in San Francisco, before making the switch to tech coverage at Next came a move to CNET, where she looked after west coast coverage of business technology, and finally a return to her homeland with ZDNet UK.

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  • looks like the robot will be minding the shop soon...