During my visit to the Kennedy Space Center, I had the opportunity to hear about a number of innovations and experiments being conducted on and off the International Space Station. My absolute favorite was ROBONAUT! “The core idea behind the Robonaut series is to have a humanoid machine work alongside astronauts” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robonaut). While many find this dude a bit creepy, I was instantly intrigued by this complex piece of technology that seemed to me to be at the apex of human and robot cooperation. In order to understand and create the type of robot that could assist in tasks made for a human, researchers, engineers, and designers, must be acutely aware of the human body as governed by the senses, biomechanics, and training based movements or embodiment of daily tasks within the environment of a space craft.
Since I took a bit of video of my new friend, I combined my video with some archival NASA footage to create a bit of an ‘Ode to Robonaut’!
What do you think of this dude? Have you ever made a robot or participated in a robotics competition? What are some good ones to visit?