NASA's Robonaut to Get New Legs Next Year
November 11, 2013 10:00 AM
Robonaut's legs to arrive in 2014
NASA's robotic astronaut, Robonaut,
has been aboard
the ISS since 2011. While in space, Robonaut has been able to perform a number of tasks using its highly articulated hands. However, the robotic astronaut will have its functionality significantly increased with the addition of new legs early in 2014.
With legs attached Robonaut will stand 8 feet tall and weigh 500 pounds.
"There is no question in my mind that bringing robots outside and having them do spacewalks would be a great use of robots in space. A spacewalk takes a lot of consumables, we breathe, we have to check out the spacesuits," Coleman told
. "We have to be triple sure that everything is right because we don't want to lose anyone on a spacewalk."
However, not everyone is entirely thrilled with the prospect of having such a large and heavy robot sharing living/working quarters with human astronauts. Astronaut Cady Coleman explained, "When he is floating free around the cabin, what if someone kicks him?”
That is still several hundred pounds, kaboom, slamming into some experiment, some person, some piece of the space station. That is dangerous, so we need Robonaut to move around safely by himself, so he can work by himself."
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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