What does a painter, a hockey player, and a certain robot have in common? Each one happens to have talented hands and fingers. Now, you might be thinking: “big deal, lots of robots have hands and fingers, what’s so special?” Well,what if we told you this robot was developed by GM and NASA and its hands and range of motion are nearly identical to a human’s?
The robot (android?) with the fancy hands is called Robonaut 2 (or “R2” as he’s known to the creators) was built for the purpose of working with astronauts on the International Space Station. A helping hand, if you will.
Motors and sensors in R2’s palms help adjust the grip to whatever task is being performed. This means R2 can use the same tools that the human astronauts use for tasks. The ambidextrous robot will be heading out to the International Space Station to hang out with its organic friends come February 2011.