The humanoid robot, Robonaut 2, has been brought to life on board the International Space Station.


Space station engineers assembled the robot and powered it up for the first time after almost six months of being brought up to the orbiter by the crew of the space shuttle Discovery.  

According to NASA, the astronauts have run a test of its electronics, focusing on the thermal response sensors in its joints. So far the diagnosis has been positive. On 1 September the station crew plans to begin leading R2 through its first movements in orbit.  

Currently the robot is connected to a pedestal on the space station. NASA hopes by the end of the year to ship leg attachments to be attached to Robonaut 2, giving it more mobility around the orbiter and upgrades for R2 to go outside into the vacuum of space.  

Robotnaut is designed to perform tasks ranging from simple and repetitive to ones that are especially dangerous.

The 300lb robot has been in the works for about 11 years by NASA and General Motors. R2 is capable of handling a wide range of dexterous human tools and interfaces as well as a wide range of sensing.   

Even though R2 is a robot it's taken on a life of its own as a regular tweeter with 40k followers. Questions and comments can be sent to Robonaut 2 and its team via Twitter @AstroRobonaut.