Legless android to become first human-like robot in space

The three-foot-four-inch tall Robonaut 2 will become the seventh crew member on board the next Discovery shuttle launch.

NASA will send Robonaut or R2 to permanently reside on the International Space Station later this year. He will become the first humanoid robot in space, reports the Daily Mail.

NASA and General Motors jointly developed R2 as a robotic assistant that can help human astronauts in space.

The 127-kg R2 comprises a head and a torso with two arms and two hands. It will be used for microgravity experiments in fluid physics, materials science, biology and biotechnology.

Its powerful arms are two feet eight inches long and are powerful enough to carry 20 pounds each in Earth's gravity.

But the robot's fingers are also extremely sensitive and allow R2 to operate machinery with almost the same dexterity as a human astronaut.

R2 will launch on space shuttle Discovery as part of a mission planned for Nov 1. Once aboard the station, engineers will monitor how the robot operates in weightlessness.

The dexterous robot not only looks like a human but also is designed to work like one. With  human-like hands and arms, R2 is able to use the same tools station crew members use.

It will also keep people back on Earth up to date with its adventures with its very own Twitter account.

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