comScore Robonaut2: Robot Astronaut | The Mary Sue

Meet Robonaut2, NASA’s Robotic Astronaut

NASA may not be flying to the moon anytime soon, but it’s still doing its part to make geek hearts everywhere go aflutter: namely, building robot astronauts.

TheĀ Robonaut2, which NASA bills as the “Next Generation Dexterous Robot,” is being developed by NASA and GM, under a very Escape Velocity-sounding “Space Act Agreement.” The bot is capable of lifting 20-pound weights, manipulating tools, and looking like Boba Fett:

  • The Robonaut2 works out.

  • The Robonaut2 ambidextrously manipulates tools.

  • The Robonaut2 recites the classic “to be, or not to be” monologue from Hamlet.

  • The Robonaut2 composes a haiku.

  • The surprise ending is that the Robonaut2 has no legs.

Joshing aside, the dexterity of the Robonaut2 is remarkable. There’s a lot of talking in the promotional video from NASA and GM below, but also some impressive demos of its humanlike fingers and hands, beginning at the 2:00 mark:

(photos and video via NASA)

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