Our favorite Twitter 'bot--no, like an actual robot that tweets--is out of the box and live-tweeting its new life on the International Space Station. Robonaut 2 was actually unboxed several months ago (it was delivered by the final Discovery mission in February) but has been sitting idly, waiting for the crew to get around to firing it up. Now R2 is plugged in, and man is it ever chatty.
"Those electrons feel GOOD!," R2 tweeted yesterday as its visual systems were powered on. "One small step for man, one giant leap for tinman kind."
Har har. But humanoid humor aside, this is a big step for those who have been following R2's progress from the labs at NASA to his launch aboard Discovery to his arrival at the ISS (R2 has been tweeting all of this along the way). It is the first humanoid robot ever taken into space, and he very well could be the model for many future generations of humanoid helper 'bots launched aboard orbiting spacecraft and perhaps even on a future deep space mission. Along the way, future versions of R2 may even assist ISS astronauts during spacewalks.
Right now, R2 is only a waist-up humanoid; his torso is anchored to a pedestal from which he can use his arms to help human crew members in the orbiting lab. But a pair of legs is being designed for R2 and could launch to the ISS in 2013, at which point it will become something of a real life C-3PO capable of following around its human counterparts, getting into all kinds of scrapes, and providing somewhat flat comic relief.
I wonder if/when humans meet other life in outer space, if it will be an actual living being, or simply their version of R2 robot deployed to travel through space?
@xx75vulcan, it makes great scientific, economice and practical sense to use a robot as a space probe and it can be like our air plane drones being controlled remotely too. Of course if an alien culture is 1000s of years advance than us, it make have a organic robotic probe walking and talking among us right now and we do not even realize it. Ut-Oh! Its time to darn the tin-foil hats so they can't read our minds.
@xx75vulcan The better question is not if it is thier version of R2 but will we be smart enough to know the differance when we meet them.
On earth automation takes human being jobs. Now it’s just moving to space as well with robots. What do you think of that Mr. Astronaut, you are being downsized and replaced by automation, 'TaDa!'
for the baser of us, will the new alien species be up for booze and naughty fun?
"You know, sometimes I wish I did a little more with my life instead of hanging out in front of places selling weed and shit. Like, maybe be an animal doctor. Why not me? I like seals and shit. Or maybe an astronaut. Yeah. Like, be the first motherfucker to see a new galaxy, or find a new alien lifeform... and fuck it. And people'd be like, "There he goes. Homeboy fucked a Martian once."
honestly how often do people have sex with aliens on star trek?? capt kirk liked green chicks
I've noticed every time aliens are discussed, they are always portrayed as being more advanced than us, but if they actually exist, there is a chance they will be as developed as the native americans were when the europeans found them, maybe even less so.
why learn from your own mistakes, when you could learn from the mistakes of others?
@-my name here-, they could be equal to your oatmeal in your breakfast. No one really knows.
"Hurry up Goldenrod! Or you're gonna be a permanent resident!"
At least your a somewhat entertaining troll.
To echo BubbaGump(scary just saying that) we don't know the level of intelligence of other life out there. For all we know we may be the most intelligent life forms within a 10000 light year radius, or further.
Now if you believe that any of the UFO and USO sightings are legit then there is a good arguement that intelligent life has already found us and is far more advanced than we are. And then the question arises again as to if that alien is a fleshy biological being or a robot. Because space and the changes in gravity are not very kind to biological beings, particularly complex biological beings. Let alone the amount of time it would take a being to get from one place to another, even if they could travel near the speed of light. Everything is working against the biological being and for the robot.
If you have the tech and power to run an FTL system or reactionless drive technology, you can run artificial gravity systems. If some of those UFO sightings are true, inertial compensation is a necessity for doing something like a 90 degree turn.
Gravitomagnetism is our modern day 'most viable' option for what may eventually become gravity-generation/anti-gravity propulsion technology to revolutionize aerospace design and function.
However, FTL and inertial dampening would require a combination of topographical spacetime tunneling and motion displacement fields that defy our laws of physics.
Looking at the picture in the article, I can't help but feel the astronaut and the robot are about to fight!
@pheonix1012 key word being OUR laws of physics. not saying FTL is possible, not saying its impossible, just currently out of our reach...