What is Robonaut 2?
The latest version of the Robonaut is an engineering marvel. Not only does he look cool, but he’s also leading the way for future robotic systems to work alongside humans in space and industry. The International Space Station (ISS) supplies electricity to the super-advanced computerised control systems stored in Robonaut’s torso, which in turn control brushless electric motors. The grease in the motors must be a special compound for fire resistance and to prevent ‘out-gassing’ in a vacuum. As advanced as he is, it’s his personal interaction that’s made his case for future development. Working alongside astronauts in the ISS has shown his inductive control system is powerful enough to move huge loads, yet gentle enough that accidental contact will cause no harm. This means that future industrial bots wouldn’t need safety screens or emergency stop buttons.