The Dexterous, the Amazing, Robonaut!
|Image Courtesy NASA|
It's kind of like watching a baby take its first steps.
This past Thursday, Robonaut (technically, Robonaut 2)- the General Motors-NASA sponsored robot aboard the International Space Station, posted a video to its Facebook page demonstrating its ability to operate a task board. I was filled with a sense of wonder while I watched the robot flip a switch and press buttons in a specific order. Although many people I know are afraid of what a robotic future might mean, I'm hopeful for one in which humans walk side by side down the street with our inorganic progeny.
Artificially intelligent robots could power a future in which the tireless, cheap labor they provide could make life a whole lot more affordable for us all. They could serve as aids to the elderly and infirm, they could do the jobs too dangerous or too undesirable for humans. The possibilities are endless, and I think if done right, most of them can be beneficial for us all.
Part of Robonaut's purpose is to conduct repairs on the outside of the International Space Station, but looking at the number of attachments for Robonaut's lower half (including treads for extra-terrestrial planet exploration), it looks like there could be a lot more in store for the hard working robot.
Watch the video and see Robonaut in action for yourself below!
(Video Courtesy YouTube & NASA)