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ISS Robonaut gets LEGLESS ... in spaaaace

Busted bot's so high it can't walk or talk

There's nothing to spoil an unboxing like a product that doesn't work. That's the unfortunate fate of NASA's beloved Robonaut 2 project: during December, International Space Station (ISS) astronauts tried adding legs to the machine, but they didn't work.

Robonaut has been helping with ISS chores for some time. Last year, intending to widen its scope, the agency hoisted some legs to the ISS.

In an ISS status report, NASA describes the problem.

Crew unstowed and set up Robonaut in the US Lab, installing cables for power, motion stop, and Ethernet communications. The ground teams deployed software and received telemetry from Robonaut. However, were unable to obtain the commanded leg movement that was planned for the day.

A 15-second timelapse video shows astronaut Terry Virts (@AstroTerry) unboxing Robonaut.

Youtube Video

Robonaut, originally designed by NASA in 2010 in collaboration with GM and Oceaneering Space Systems, was first hoisted – sans legs – in 2011.

Its roughly-humanoid shape is meant to give it the ability to use the same kinds of tools as humans. NASA's project page is here. ®


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