Just like Lt. Dan, Robonaut is set to get some new legs. NASA has announced that its robotic astronaut is currently aboard the ISS and will be getting a pair of robotic legs in 2014. When Robonaut was first sent to the ISS, the robot was only a torso with a pair of highly advanced hands.
GM is one of the main companies behind Robonaut and spent some time bragging about the dexterity of Robonauts hands back in 2010 before the space shuttle mission took the robot aboard the ISS. Robonaut was aboard the ISS for a long time before he was finally pulled from storage. The robot was sent to the space station to help investigate how robots can assist astronauts in orbit and how astronauts interact with robots in space.
Robonaut will be a very large robot once he gets his legs. He will reportedly stand eight-feet tall and weigh 500 pounds. Once the legs are attached Robonaut will be able to move freely around the ISS by himself. Robonaut is part of a NASA project called Project M, which is in the 17th year of its fifty-year development period.
Eventually Robonauts ancestors may be used to explore the moon or other planets in place of human astronauts. The robot will have to learn to use his legs and scientists will have to be sure robot is safe before sending it to the ISS. Independent functionality is crucial the robot’s success to prevent it from crashing into components and objects in the space station by accident.