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Meet Robonaut 2, the GenNext robot

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Robonaut 2s can work autonomously, together are designed to use the same tools as humans. A NASA Photo.

Robotic technology was once a pure fiction but is now actually being developed. Humans have always dreamed of hi-tech robots that will think and work alongside human beings.

And, now it seems that the dream is going to become a reality with NASA and General Motors (GM) working together to accelerate development of the next generation of robots and related technologies for use in the automotive and aerospace industries.

The two giant orgnisations, with the help of engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston, have developed and built a new humanoid robot, Robonaut 2, or R2 capable of working side-by-side with people.

Robonaut 2 is developed through a Space Act Agreement by NASA and General Motors.

Robonaut 2

Robonaut 2 is a faster, more dexterous and more technologically advanced humanoid robot.

This new generation robot can use its hands to do work beyond the scope of prior humanoid machines. Robonaut 2 can work safely alongside people, a necessity both on Earth and in space.

Robonaut 2, with its humanoid dexterous technology, can assist humans in performing intricate work and repetitive movements that might be hazardous to humans.

The human-like torso of Robonaut 2 can be programmed to perform predetermined tasks, and can also mimic a human controller’s real-time movements. The robot is not designed for super-human strength, but it’s weight-bearing and repetitive motion endurance is far ahead of human levels.

Robonaut 2 is capable of working alongside people, and is equipped with sensors that direct it to move or recoil to prevent hurting a person in the case of a bump or more serious collision.

With the help of leading edge control, sensor and vision technologies, Robonaut 2 could assist astronauts during hazardous space missions.

These next generation dexterous humanoid robots will be used in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Such humanoid robots will be highly significant in harsh environments, such as satellites in space, offshore oil & gas platforms, and even explosive ordnance in the battlefield.

NASA plans to use Robonaut 2 to expand capabilities for construction and discovery in space. For GM, robonauts will used in the automobile sector for safer cars and safer plants.

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