Meet Robonaut2, NASA’s Robotic Astronaut

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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.

The 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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