Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The first humanoid robot ever launched into space is finally free.

Astronauts at the International Space Station unpacked Robonaut on Tuesday, 2 1/2 weeks after its arrival via space shuttle Discovery. NASA broadcast the humorous unveiling ceremony Wednesday.

American Catherine Coleman and Italian Paolo Nespoli pried off the lid of the robot's packing box, as though they were opening a coffin. TV cameras showed lots of foam inside, but no robot.

Robonaut - also known as R2 - was spotted seconds later in front of a work station.

Testing will begin in May. Until then, R2's fists will remain clenched and its arms folded up against its chest. The robot exists from the waist up. Legs should arrive next year.


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