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Robonaut 2’s dexterity

IEEE Spectrum has a great video on Robonaut 2. The dexterity of NASA’s android helper is pretty amazing.


Robonaut 2 Headed for Home

At this moment, Robonaut 2 (R2) has around 21 hours left on Earth before it goes up to its permanent home on the International Space Station. R2 will launch on the Discovery space shuttle on February 24, 2011 at approximately 4:50 Eastern Standard Time.

So, what exactly is a Robonaut and why is this mission to the Space Station so important? A Robonaut is one of NASA’s humanoid robots designed and tested at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. R2 will work as an assistant to the human astronauts. This mission is important because it is the first dexterous humanoid robot to be sent to space. NASA will use this mission to explore the best ways to send R2 and other humanoid robots to destinations farther out (the Moon and Mars, and possibly beyond).

Courtesy of NASA

NASA said it has no plans on bringing R2 back to Earth. (Sort of makes me sad. Maybe I can send it Christmas cards.)

Visit the official site for Robonaut 2 for information, images, and videos. If you’re an educator, visit NASA Education for engaging instructional materials. If you’re a student and love science, visit NASA’s student site.

Oh, and R2 tweets! Follow R2 @AstroRobonaut. I do find it interesting that on Twitter and Facebook, R2 is posting with a human-like voice, and most fans are addressing it directly and giving it best wishes. Of course, we R2 fans know it isn’t human, but there is definitely a connection present between R2 and those of us who are observing the events. This isn’t so surprising considering research has shown that androids elicit social responses in humans. R2 may not have a human face, but on some level, we still envision a flesh-and-blood person inside that big bronze noggin casing.


Transformers: Dark of The Moon Daytona 500 TV Spot

Another trailer for Transformers: Dark of the Moon aired during the Daytona 500 broadcast.

The special effects look stunning, but I hope the script improves with this movie. Sure, the Transformers movies are based on kids’ toys, but I believe there’s a thought-provoking story somewhere in there waiting to get out. Right off the bat, I’d like to see more Optimus Prime angst.


The Robots Are Coming . . .

If you aren’t too familiar with the growing importance of robotics in everyday life, check out ABC News’s article on the ten up-and-coming robots.

If they ever make a robot specifically designed to clean bathtubs, I’ll be the first in line to buy one.


Dancing with the Androids

Welcome to Robot Dance Mob!   This is a place for robot enthusiasts and newbies to get the latest info and news on the use of robots in our rapidly changing society.

Out here in Internet World, there are many, many extremely interesting and mind-blowing blogs on robots.  Most of them deal with the hard science of robots.  I am decidedly not a scientist, and I could never explain the nuts and bolts of robotics with any kind of scientific acumen or scholarly authority.  Though I find the technical details highly fascinating, I’ve created this blog mainly for enthusiasts who enjoy robots in science fiction and like learning about robotic machinery, techie gadgets, and fun toys and trinkets. This blog will also interest those who ponder the sociological, political, religious, and moral issues of robots in various areas of society, including military, education, assistive technology, healthcare, and household management.

One of my favorite topics is robots in entertainment; the current slew of robot-themed books, TV shows, and movies will come up in many posts here.

You might be wondering about the name of this blog.  I go into more detail on the “About Me” page, but I’ll just give a short answer here.  Some day, robots will dance among us.  They will win contests and talent shows with their amazing moves.  And they will look extremely cool doing it.

About this blog

Get interesting tidbits on fictional robots; robotics in education and healthcare; fighting machines; robot books, toys, and trinkets; dancing androids; and all the other robots in-between.

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