back to article ROBONAUT to find feet after Monday ISS supply mission

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 …

COMMENTS

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  1. Mr_Pitiful

    Hmmm

    Is the OS XP?

  2. McHack

    Not quite a Tour de Force

    Robonaut 2 (R2) looks nice, but the next-gen Design 2 (D2) should be better.

    Too bad the Soviet Union (CCCP) went away, they could have designed and contributed the Soviet Operations (C3PO) unit. Well, let's give Putin a chance, see what good happens.

  3. IT Drone
    Pint

    Alcohol fuelled?

    Legless at work - been there, done that...

  4. Sureo

    Almost ready....

    to scrub the kitchen floor and take out the garbage.

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Actually better roboitcs may be one of *the* key enablers for BEO exploration.

    Now if they only kept up that focus on say on orbit cryogenic propellant management, they might actually start going somewhere.

  6. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Should have ...

    ... put its pants on...

  7. John Savard Silver badge

    Good Precaution

    One wouldn't want the robot to go crazy and shoot the astronauts while they were engaging in certain bodily functions complicated by weightlessness.

  8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    I always wondered why...

    ...only two arms. Yes, "humanoid" so as to use the same tools as the meatsacks, but why not give the robot 3 or 4 arms in the first place?

    In effect, that's what the new "legs" are, of course, but why make the whole thing human shaped at all? Why not have four "shoulders", each with an arm?

    1. willi0000000

      Re: I always wondered why...

      because it's designed for teleoperation and that configuration most closely resembles the new crop of genetically enhanced astronauts who have six knees on each leg.

      actually, i'd rather see a hexapod version with each "foot" designed to operate as a "hand" as well. that gives a quadriped stance for the most stable base and leaves two limbs free to work or be teleoperated. alternatively a tripod stance with two "free" arms and a third (or gripping) hand to be used to hold something steady.

      1. eclairz

        Re: I always wondered why...

        Basically a Tachikoma from Ghost in the Shell series

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the white covering?

    Does anyone know what purpose the white covering serves? My first thought was some kind of dust protection around the joints, but I can't believe there's much dust inside the ISS and there should be next to none outside, right?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Why the white covering?

      So it looks more this than this.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Why the white covering?

      Thermal insulation. When working in sunlight the thermal stresses involved could damage the structures due to uneven heating of components. So things are insulated to provide protection against direct heating and keep components on a more constant temperature.

  10. Niri

    Wouldn't it be great if...

    ...the astronauts said "We're switching it on now..." *click, whirrrrr...* "Aaaahhh, it's attacking! Oh god she's dead! There's blood everywhere! Houston, we-gaaak!!"

    You know, as a practical joke. :-)

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't it be great if...

      "Ha ha ha ha ha! We... ha ha ha... we... ha... put them on backwards by accident. Whooo hooo hooo ha ha ha."

  11. Arachnoid

    Limbs

    Im surprised at how small the attachments are on the "legs" I know space is weightless but they seem awful small to take a lot of stress as the robot climbs around.And as previous posts I would have thought a multi limbed device much like a spider with at least three anchor points thus two are always attached to stop the robot twisting during point changes.

  12. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Coat

    uncanny valey

    these "legs" look truly weird. For a good reason, of course. Still, watching them makes me feel uncomfortable.

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