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NASA to launch GM co-developed robot to space

2010-04-15 09:13 BJT

CHICAGO, April 14 (Xinhua) -- NASA is sending a human-like robot made jointly with General Motors Co. (GM) to the International Space Station this fall, GM said on its website Wednesday.

NASA is sending a human-like robot made jointly with General Motors Co. (GM) to the International Space Station this fall, GM said on its website Wednesday. (File Photo)
NASA is sending a human-like robot made jointly with General Motors 
Co. (GM) to the International Space Station this fall, GM said on its 
website Wednesday. (File Photo)

The 300-pound robot, dubbed Robonaut 2, will be used to test the effects of weightlessness as part of a plan to develop a robot that can work alongside astronauts and workers in GM plants.

The goal is to develop a next-generation robot that could improve safety in vehicles, factories and space.

"The use of R2 on the space station is just the beginning of a quickening pace between human and robotic exploration of space," said John Olson, director of NASA's Exploration Systems Integration Office. "The partnership of humans and robots will be critical to opening up the solar system and will allow us to go farther and achieve more than we can probably even imagine today."

The robot will be launched in September on the space shuttle Discovery as part of the STS-133 mission and will become a permanent part of the space station.

Robonaut 2 could replace the current version, built 10 years ago by NASA's Johnson Space Center and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency.