Yes, Elizabeth, the Robonaut does have sensors will make sure it doesn't grip too hard. they demonstrated that by having the Robonaut shake our hands. It's programmed to squeeze just the right amount and for just the right length of time.
That is good to know from someone who has actually "met" Robonaut, Rob. And I suppose there are pressure sensors in the robot to ensure it doesn't squeeze or grip something (or someone!) too hard as well.
Wow, that's really cool you were up close and personal having a strength contest with this robot! I am sure that must have been interesting...if not a bit daunting. ;) The strength factor of course is a little scary, but I imagine there will be safety measures.
Good points Bobjengr. The patents may very well make their way into the domestic market. I think they will certainly find their way into the manufacturing market, since GM is a partner in the Robonaut program.
Hey Jhankwitz, I received one of those pens when I toured NASA last week. It's great. The Robonaut program is being developed in partnership with GM. That may be why they're developing patents rather than putting their technology out into the public domain. It's a good question though. I'll find out in one of my follow-up stories to the NASA visit.
Hey, Elizabeth, when I visited JSC last week I had a contest with the Robonaut to see who could hold a 20lb straight out the longest. You can guess who won. they are just recently adding legs to Robonaut. The feet are designed to hold onto rails inside and outside of the Space Station.
Bobjengr has provided an excellent example of how Robonaut can be used by NASA to perform a task that astronauts usually would do. Using a robot would make certain tasks safer for astronauts or avoid putting them in a potentially dangerous situation altogether.
Rob, this is a very timely article. Right now, the International Space Station is experiencing backup cooling system failure. No panic but the backup is critical to overall reliability of the station. The robonaut could possibly be used if "space walks" were necessary as this repair will be. Another impressive fact, you mentioned 47 patents have been awarded during the development process. I would think some, if not all, of these patented ideas will eventually find their way into the "domestic" environment. This is the way science and technology works. Excellent post.
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
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