“Those electrons feel GOOD!,” R2 tweeted yesterday as its visual systems were powered on. “One small step for man, one giant leap for tinman kind.”
Robonaut 2 was actually unboxed several months ago (it was delivered by the final Discovery mission in February to the International Space Station) but has been sitting idly, waiting for the crew to get around to firing it up. Now R2 is plugged in, and man is it ever chatty. This is the first humanoid robot ever taken into space, and he very well could be the model for many future generations of humanoid helper ‘bots launched aboard orbiting spacecraft and perhaps even on a future deep space mission. Along the way, future versions of R2 may even assist ISS astronauts during spacewalks.