Monday, August 22, 2011

True: R2 Tweets from Outer Space! OK, it's NASA's R2, Not the One from Star Wars

R2 poses with astronaut Catherine Coleman (of Shelburne, Mass.)
C3PO was nowhere to be seen, but R2 is on the job.

The crew of the International Space Station on Monday activated Robonaut 2, the "automoton astronaut."

"Those electrons feel GOOD!"  read a post on Robonaut 2's Twitter page. "One small step for man, one giant leap for tinman kind."

R2 will not be fully activated until it passes a series of tests.

As reported by Tariq Malik,'s managing editor:
Robonaut 2 is the first humanoid robot ever to fly in space and was built by NASA as part of a joint project with car manufacturer General Motors. The goal is to build a robot helper suitable to assist humans in complex tasks, be they in space or on Earth, project officials have said.
"He has been groveling in his stowage location over here in the lab," space station astronaut Mike Fossum of NASA told Mission Control. "The complaint's mainly been that he wants to get out and get to work. Well, today is finally the day."

Wrong R2.
Robonaut 2 has a head, torso, arms and super-dexterous hands, but no legs or feet. An anchor-like pole holds it in place. It is about 3 feet, 4 inches (1.01 meters) tall and weighs about 330 pounds (150 kilograms), according to

Among the space station crew members is Catherine Coleman, who lives in the Western Massachusetts community of Shelburne. In May, she delivered a taped commencement address to the class of 2011 at UMass-Amherst.

Spoiler: Robonaut 2 cannot post Twitter updates; the robot's engineering team does that under the name @AstroRobonaut.

No comments:

Post a Comment