Robonaut 2 Powered Up on the International Space Station

Robonaut 2 the humanoid robot that NASA sent up with the last shuttle Discovery has been unboxed. Robonaut 2, also known as R2 was delivered five months ago to the International Space Station and has been powered up for the first time on this mission.

International Space Station astronaut Mike Fossum of NASA said that R2 had been groveling in his stowage location over here in the lab. The complaint's mainly been that he wants to get out and get to work. Well, today is finally the day.

Expedition 28 Flight Engineer Mike Fossum prepares Robonaut for its first activation. Credit: NASA TV

Handlers of the robot in Mission Control in Houston also cheered as it came alive in space. Deputy project manager Nicolaus Radford said that the robot had been asleep for a year and needed to stretch out a little bit. Just like a crew member has to kind of acclimate themselves to zero gravity, our robot has to do a very similar thing, kind of wiggle itself and learn how it needs to move in weightlessness he added.

The humanoid robot is also tweeting now that it’s up and running again. Yes, the robot has its own twitter account and the tweets included "Those electrons feel GOOD!" ,” One small step for man, one giant leap for tinman kind,” and "Sure wish I could move my head and look around."

The R2 is yet to be put through its paces, but that is planned for September 1, 2011. NASA plans on releasing a high-quality video of the highly dextrous droid in full effect when that happens. Being the first humanoid robot in space it will be tested extensively for its potential. The robot will be used as a companion on future NASA missions if it does well on the International Space Station.

Source: NASA

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