NASA and GM partner to create cutting-edge robotic technology

WASHINGTON, 5 Feb. 2010. NASA and General Motors are working together to accelerate the development of next-generation robots and related technologies for use in the aerospace industry. Using leading-edge control, sensor, and vision technologies, future robots could assist astronauts during hazardous space missions and help GM build safer cars and plants, speculate officials.

Feb 5th, 2010

Posted by Courtney Howard

WASHINGTON, 5 Feb. 2010. NASA and General Motors are working together to accelerate the development of next-generation robots and related technologies for use in the aerospace industry.

Engineers and scientists from NASA and GM combined efforts, under a Space Act Agreement at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, to build a new humanoid robot capable of working side by side with people. Using leading-edge control, sensor, and vision technologies, future robots could assist astronauts during hazardous space missions, officials speculate.

The two organizations, with the help of engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston, developed and built the next iteration of Robonaut.

Robonaut 2 (R2)--a fast, dexterous, and technologically advanced robot--can use its hands to do work beyond the scope of prior humanoid machines, says a representative. R2 can work safely alongside people, a necessity on Earth and in space.

"This cutting-edge robotics technology holds great promise, not only for NASA, but also for the nation," says Doug Cooke, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "I'm very excited about the new opportunities for human and robotic exploration these versatile robots provide across a wide range of applications."

"Our challenge today is to build machines that can help humans work and explore in space," says Mike Coats, Johnson's center director. "Working side by side with humans, or going where the risks are too great for people, machines like Robonaut will expand our capability for construction and discovery."

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