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To meet the dexterous manipulation needs of future missions, NASA is developing Robonaut, a highly dexterous anthropomorphic robotic system now in integration and task trials at the Johnson Space Center. Robonaut is advancing the state of the art in anthropomorphic robotic systems, multiple-use tool-handling end effectors, modular robotic systems components, and telepresence control systems. As a direct result of its unique anthropomorphic human sized design, Robonaut can interface directly with tools designed for the suited astronaut and can work within the same access corridors. The Robonaut system, even in its current state of development with only visual feedback to the human operator, has already demonstrated sufficient dexterity and control to handle a wide range of tools once thought impossible for robotics. As the project matures with increased feedback to the human operator, the Robonaut system will approach the handling and manipulation capabilities of a suited astronaut.
Robert R. Burridge, Fredrik Rehnmark, Hal Aldridge, Robert O. Ambrose, William Bluethmann, Darby Magruder, Myron Diftler, Chris Lovchik, R. Scott Askew, "Robonaut: NASA's Space Humanoid", IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 15, no. , pp. 57-63, July/August 2000, doi:10.1109/5254.867913
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