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  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  ISS: Robonaut 2 (R2) unpacking and first ops

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Author Topic:   ISS: Robonaut 2 (R2) unpacking and first ops
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-15-2011 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Station astronauts unpack Robonaut 2 (R2)

Expedition 27 flight engineers Paolo Nespoli and Cady Coleman on Tuesday (March 15, 2011) unpacked Robonaut 2 (R2), a human-like robot that was delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) by space shuttle Discovery's STS-133 crew in February.

The astronauts freed R2 from its foam-encased SLEEPR (Structural Launch Enclosure to Effectively Protect Robonaut) and set the robot on its pedestal in the Destiny laboratory.

"It feels great to be out of my SLEEPR, even if I can't stretch out just yet," Robonaut 2 "posted" on Twitter. "I can't wait until I get to start doing some work!"

Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space, will teach engineers how dexterous robots behave in space and through upgrades and advancements could one day venture outside the station to help spacewalkers make repairs or additions to the station or perform scientific work.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-16-2011 03:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-22-2011 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robonaut Wakes Up In Space

One small step for man, one giant leap for tinman kind.

After months of patiently snoring away in its storage bag, Robonaut 2 — the first dexterous humanoid robot in space — finally got its wakeup call on Monday (Aug 22, 2011).

R2, as the robot is called, was delivered to the International Space Station on STS-133 — the last flight of space shuttle Discovery — in February, but due to the astronaut's busy schedule of shuttle missions and science experiments, the station crew hadn't been able to do more than unpack it. Until now.

On Monday, mission specialists Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa hooked R2 up inside the Destiny laboratory, and teams on the ground sent power to the robot for the first time in space.

"Those electrons feel GOOD!" R2 tweeted from its Twitter account. R2, with help from its team on the ground, has been tweeting even in its sleep for more than a year.

The power was left flowing to the robot more than two hours while Fossum and Furukawa went on with their other activities. This gave engineers on the ground a chance to verify that all the wiring and connections inside the robot made it to space intact, and to see how they would work in the station's microgravity — the way heat builds up and dissipates at the station is hard to replicate on the ground. In other words, R2 needed a checkup before getting the go ahead for exercise (or any movement at all).

The diagnosis was positive.

"Everything came alive," said Nic Radford, Robonaut deputy project manager. "We started getting video out of Robonaut's eyes. Everything worked exactly as we expected it to. It was a very, very exciting time."

Above: "This is what I see right now. Sure wish I could move my head and look around," tweeted Robonaut.

That clears the way for engineers to begin leading R2 through its first movements on orbit. The station crew is scheduled to set it up again on Sept. 1, so that commands to move its arms and hands can be sent from the ground. If all continues to go well, R2 could begin helping out with simple station tasks in 2012.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-15-2012 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First human-humanoid handshake

Expedition 30 commander Dan Burbank worked with Robonaut 2 on Wednesday (Feb. 15) checking its joints and ensuring the humanoid robot can perform commands.

Burbank coordinated with the Payload Operations Center (POC) at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., to perform the first "man-machine" handshake with Robonaut 2.

"The first human-humanoid handshake in space," Burbank said just before Robonaut 2 reached out to take the astronaut's hand.

The checkout also included a test to see if Robonaut's fingers are dexterous enough to perform sign language.

"Did you catch that?" Robonaut 2 'wrote' on Twitter. "I don't have a voice, but I sent you a message — Hello world... in sign language!"

See here for discussion of Robonaut 2 on the International Space Station.

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