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The Daily Need

Photo: One giant leap for robots

Photo: NASA/JSC Robert Markowitz

The launch of space shuttle Discovery, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed until Friday due to weather concerns. That means that Robonaut 2, or R2, will have to wait another day to become the first non-human crew member to visit the International Space Station. R2 is the latest generation of dexterous humanoid robot helpers designed to assist astronauts with tasks such as repairs, additions to the station or performing scientific work. Before it can go space walking, it’s first job is to teach engineers how dexterous robots behave in space. This is a one way trip for R2, as there are no plans to bring it back to Earth, but it will be keeping in touch with its earthbound friends through its new Twitter account, @AstroRobonaut. When asked if it was nervous about the upcoming mission, it tweeted “Nope, not even a little nervous! I’ve got nerves of aluminum!”

You can see R2 in action at NASA’s website.

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