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Robot 'that looks like Top Gear's The Stig' developed.

London, April 17 (ANI): Nasa's new 'space robot' Robonaut 2, which looks like the secret Top Gear character The Stig, is set to step aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The 300-pound machine, called R2 in short, will join astronauts permanently on the ISS 180 miles above Earth.

Just like humans, R2 has a head, torso, two arms and hands and sports a white dress alongwith a gold helmet.

The robot, a product of collaboration between Nasa and General Motors, the US car makers, will be launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery later this year.

R2 will assist astronauts on the ISS using the same tools they use.

It is presently undergoing vibration, vacuum and radiation testing.

"This project exemplifies the promise that a future generation of robots can have both in space and on Earth, not as replacements for humans but as companions that can carry out key supporting roles," the Telegraph quoted John Olson, director of the Nasa's Exploration Systems Integration Office, as saying.

He went on: "The combined potential of humans and robots is a perfect example of the sum equalling more than the parts.

"It will allow us to go farther and achieve more than we can probably even imagine today."

"Testing the robot inside the station will provide an important intermediate environment," Olson added.

Doug Cooke, associate administrator for Nasa's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, said: "This cutting-edge robotics technology holds great promise, not only for NASA, but also for the nation.

"I'm very excited about the new opportunities for human and robotic exploration these versatile robots provide across a wide range of applications."

Alan Taub, vice president of GM's global research and evelopment, said: "The extreme levels of testing R2 has ndergone as it prepares... are on par with the validation our vehicles and components go through on the path to production.

"Partnerships between organisations such as GM and NASA help ensure space exploration, road travel and manufacturing can become even safer in the future." (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Apr 17, 2010
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