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NASA's giant leap in robotic technology

india Updated: Feb 06, 2010 12:53 IST

In a groundbreaking development in robotic technology, NASA scientists have developed a new dexterous humanoid robot which can work with humans in the aerospace industry.

Robonaut2, or R2, is the next generation dexterous robot that uses the same tools as humans, allowing it to work safely along with people, a necessity both on Earth and in space.

The machines are faster and can use their hands to do work beyond the scope of prior humanoid machines. “I’m very excited about the new opportunities for human and robotic exploration these versatile robots provide across a wide range of applications,” said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

R2, the next iteration of Robonaut, could assist astronauts during hazardous space missions using leading edge control, sensor and vision technologies. “This cutting-edge robotics technology holds great promise, not only for NASA, but also for the nation,” Cooke said.

“Working side by side with humans, or going where the risks are too great for people, machines like Robonaut will expand our capability for construction and discovery,” said Mike Coats, director of Johnson Space Centre in Houston where the humanoid was manufactured.

According to NASA, the robots were developed with General Motors through a Space Act Agreement to accelerate development of the next generation of robots and related technologies.