The final flight of the space shuttle Discovery will begin on November 1. One of the duties of the crew is to test Robonaut 2, a human-sized robot that may one day work on the International Space Station.
The robot — I wonder if they’ll call it R2? — is an experiment to test how such devices can help astronauts in the future*. Pictured on the right (where it can be seen curling a 20 pound dumbbell, ostensibly so it can more efficiently kill Sarah Connor), it’ll be mounted on a fixed pedestal in the new module. Eventually, future models will be mobile, allowing them to do work on the station itself, both inside and outside. GM is partnering with NASA on Robonaut, so that the new technologies may be applied in the automotive industry as well.
R2 has his own Twitter feed, too. Get more on Discovery’s last launch at Bad Astronomy. Link