16 Aug
GM's Robonaut 2 will send tweets from space

I feel bad for robots. They get charged with all of humanity’s most laborious, repetitive tasks, with little or no glory. Welding car chassis joints, sealing up gushing oil platforms, carrying rich drunks to bed. Thanks to NASA and GM that’s about to change, and our robotic underlords are about to make their way into space. NASA first developed a humanoid robot, the original Robonaut, designed for space travel 10 years ago by the robot systems technology branch at the NASA space center in collaboration with DARPA. For the current version of the Robonaut, R2, NASA and General Motors are working together to accelerate the development of the next generation of robots for use in both the automotive and aerospace industries. The robot is composed of a very Daft Punk-like helmeted head and a torso along with two highly functioning arms. It is almost as dextrous as a human, its dexterity allowing the R2 to use the same tools that astronauts currently use — removing the need for specialized robot-specific tools. The 300 pounds R2 will be the first humanoid robot to travel to the space station in November and will carry out dangerous or repetitive tasks that would otherwise be performed by a human, and for the first time will be tested in microgravity and subjected to the station’s radiation and electromagnetic interference environment. For now, the R2 is still a prototype and does not have adequate protection needed to exist outside the station in the extreme temperatures of space. It will, however, have a Twitter account. R2 will be sending twitter updates of the journey from the account of @astrorobonaut, informing everyone what it ate for lunch and that it’s getting a mani-pedi this afternoon [OMG - SO excited!]. Ok, human beings will actually be behind the R2’s tweets, it won’t be inventing them itself (its not sentient just yet), but I’m still going to follow just to see what R2 thinks Snooki should do about that whole “Angelina” situation…

See the video below, and hit the Jump for couple more picks of NASA and GM’s R2 robot…

via DesignBoom

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