GM and NASA are working together at the Johnson Space Center in Houston under the Space Act Agreement to develop more sophisticated robots and related technologies that will be used in the automotive and aerospace industries.
Oceaneering Space Systems has just announced the Robonaut 2, aka R2. (insert D2 joke here). A humanoid robot that is designed to safely work alongside or to directly assist with astronaut missions and to produce safer, better quality vehicles at the GM manufacturing plants. The R2 features state of the art sensors, vision technologies and edge control, making it capable of using its hands with a dexterity that has never been achieved in other humanoid machines.
“This cutting-edge robotics technology holds great promise, not only for NASA, but also for the nation,” said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “I’m very excited about the new opportunities for human and robotic exploration these versatile robots provide across a wide range of applications.”
“For GM, this is about safer cars and safer plants,” said Alan Taub, GM’s vice president for global research and development. “When it comes to future vehicles, the advancements in controls, sensors and vision technology can be used to develop advanced vehicle safety systems. The partnership’s vision is to explore advanced robots working together in harmony with people, building better, higher quality vehicles in a safer, more competitive manufacturing environment.”
Unlike Honda’s Asimo and Toyota’s elderly-helping robot the Robonaut 2 seems to be intended for private use rather than retail sales.
Robonaut 2, aka R2 Image Gallery