Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Apr 11, 2013
Robonaut 2, NASA's robotic astronaut torso, floats about the International Space Station without any legs. But that's about to change, thanks to NASA engineers.
NASA scientists have built R2 a set of high-tech, 9-foot-long legs. The legs are more like big long sloth arms than human legs -- ultra long and flexible with seven joints. Instead of feet, the legs are outfitted with "end effector," which will lock in, via sockets, to tools and handrails.
"The new legs are designed for work both inside and outside the station, but upgrades to R2's upper body will be necessary before it can begin work outside the space station," NASA officials said in a news statement.
R2's new legs will ship up to the space station on Monday, April 14, aboard SpaceX's unmanned Dragon capsule.
SpaceX is the private space launch company founded by PayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. The outfit has already completed three separate mission resupply missions to the space station. Dragon will take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
NASA says some of the technologies that helped engineers craft R2's new legs could prove useful on Earth. Scientists are currently working on a robotic exoskeleton that could aid people with physical disabilities.
[Christian Science Monitor]
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|