Home » News » GM » GM and NASA develop Humanoid Robot

GM and NASA are working on developing a new humanoid robot called the Robonaut 2 (R2) as well as related technologies that will be used in both automotive and aerospace industries.

The Robonaut 2 is basically the faster more dexterous version of Robonaut, who can use its hands and work alongside people. If you're not quite sure how all this can help GM then the company's vice president Alan Taub says "this is about safer cars and safer plants" as the advancements in controls, sensors and vision technology can take vehicle safety to the next level.

NASA says that this new humanoid robot developed in partnership with GM will open the gates of a new era of space exploration, expanding their capability forconstruction and discover.

GM press release :

WASHINGTON -- NASA and General Motors are working together toaccelerate development of the next generation of robots and relatedtechnologies for use in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Engineers and scientists from NASA and GM worked together through aSpace Act Agreement at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston tobuild a new humanoid robot capable of working side by side with people.Using leading edge control, sensor and vision technologies, futurerobots could assist astronauts during hazardous space missions and helpGM build safer cars and plants.

The two organizations, with the help of engineers from OceaneeringSpace Systems of Houston,

developed and built the next iteration ofRobonaut. Robonaut 2, or R2, is a faster, more dexterous and moretechnologically advanced robot. This new generation robot can use itshands to do work beyond the scope of prior humanoid machines. R2 canwork safely alongside people, a necessity both on Earth and in space.

"This cutting-edge robotics technology holds great promise, not onlyfor NASA, but also for the nation," said Doug Cooke, associateadministrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASAHeadquarters in Washington. "I'm very excited about the newopportunities for human and robotic exploration these versatile robotsprovide 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 comesto future vehicles, the advancements in controls, sensors and visiontechnology can be used to develop advanced vehicle safety systems. Thepartnership's vision is to explore advanced robots working together inharmony with people, building better, higher quality vehicles in asafer, more competitive manufacturing environment."

The idea of using dexterous, human-like robots capable of usingtheir hands to do intricate work is not new to the aerospace industry.The original Robonaut, a humanoid robot designed for space travel, wasbuilt by the software, robotics and simulation division at Johnson in acollaborative effort with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency10 years ago. During the past decade, NASA gained significant expertisein building robotic technologies for space applications. Thesecapabilities will help NASA launch a bold new era of space exploration.

"Our challenge today is to build machines that can help humans workand explore in space," said Mike Coats, Johnson's center director."Working side by side with humans, or going where the risks are toogreat for people, machines like Robonaut will expand our capability forconstruction and discovery."

NASA and GM have a long, rich history of partnering on keytechnologies, starting in the 1960s with the development of thenavigation systems for the Apollo missions. GM also played a vital rolein the development of the Lunar Rover Vehicle, the first vehicle to beused on the moon.

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