Robonaut 2 joins Space Station Crew

R2 20 pound weight, Robonaut

Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli unpack the newest member of the Expedition 27 crew, Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space. R2 was delivered to the International Space Station by space shuttle Discovery on STS-133. R2 is the first humanoid robot sent to the International Space Station. R2 got its first taste of real work on Wednesday. The crew and ground team had completed all its initial checkouts, and Tuesday installed heat sinks in both of the robot’s forearms to allow it to better dissipate heat and work for longer periods of time.

“I was pretty impressed with the robot’s ability,” said Mari Forrestel, the Environmental and Thermal Operating Systems flight controller analyzing the data R2 sent down. “I think we have some tweaking to do, some fine tuning, but we are definitely looking forward to the robot helping us.”

Ron Diftler, the Robonaut 2 project manager, agreed. “We’re definitely on the right path,” he said. “Robonaut 2 had a chance to use its first tool today. This experiment is the first step in the robot relieving the crew of every dull task and, in time, giving the crew more time for science and exploration.”