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NASA's robot astronaught inspiring tech here on Earth

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posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 10:58 AM
Robonaut 2 is proving useful in more ways than just support around the Space station. As with everything else that NASA develops, the technology used to create it has many uses for spin-offs here on Earth.

1. Robonaut 2 can be converted into a full exoskeleton to help astronauts exercise and stay healthy. Paraplegia or stroke patients could use the skeleton to regain some lost motion here on Earth.

First, scientists converted Robonaut into a full exoskeleton called X1 that can help astronauts exercise and stay healthy while spending long periods in space. But X1 also has potential application closer to home; scientists think paraplegia or stroke patients could use the skeleton to regain some lost motion here on Earth.

2. Robonaut 2 inspired Roboglove, a glove designed with flexible tendons that can assist grip force. On spacewalks, astronauts must repair and maintain the outside of the orbiting lab. But zero gravity combined with a bulky spacesuit can make even simple tasks difficult.

"Due to pressurization of the suit, it's like squeezing a balloon every time you move your hand," Lyndon Bridgwater, senior robotics engineer at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a statement. "That causes extreme fatigue and even injury. We're looking at putting the hardware and actuator in the glove itself to provide muscle augmentation for the hand."

3. Robonaut 2 can be used for tele-medicine, that is:

"The robot could stabilize an injured individual or do nursing-level work, even on Earth," Ron Diftler, Robonaut project manager, said in a statement. "That essentially transports a doctor's skill and presence to somewhere the doctor can't go or, in an emergency situation, where it would be dangerous for a person to go."

I think there should be a NASA appreciation day for all of the things they do with so little. What say ATS?

posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 07:36 AM
a reply to: lostbook



Just kidding! I find this development very interesting indeed, the part about augmenting the astronauts grip strength particularly. Solutions to these simple problems, like that of fatigue from the rigours of working in a pressure suit, are what leads to greater feats later on, and I cannot wait to see what the end result of these developments will be.

Obviously, the space application is interesting, but I feel I must repeat my assertion, that work should begin on combining the work of those responsible for the HAL hybrid assistive limb, the elegant Japanese design...

... The Trojan S armour built by a crazy Canadian chap...

... And now this NASA gear as well! Can you imagine the Iron Man like awesomeness that would result? It would be a few hundred times more versatile than the unpowered suits being proposed by the US military at the moment!

I am feeling a bit mad scientist now, thanks for that!

posted on Jul, 6 2014 @ 02:37 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Thx for the reply. I too feel that these advancements are moving us in the right direction.

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