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GM Robonaut 2 the Most Human-Like Robot Ever

GM says it Robonaut 2 that will fly to the Space Station in February is the most human-like robot ever. Human autoworkers should be concerned.

Engineers from the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, MI and NASA’s Johnson Space center in Houston collaborated to produce a robot that could work side-by-side with human astronauts at the International Space Station as well as future missions. GM is saying Robonaut 2 (or R2 for short) is one of the most dexterous robots ever built because of his very human-like hands.

The R2 is designed to work side-by-side with astronauts at the space station. As a GM press release explains, “Since all of the tools and equipment aboard the space station were designed for use by human hands, R2 had to be able to perform them without modification.”

The Robonaut 2 could have troubling implications for people working the assembly line. The modern auto plant is chock full of robots. The development of the R2 and its capability to precisely sense the reaction forces and continuously adjust the grip of the hand for whatever task it is performing could mean widespread use in factories for jobs that pursue ergonomic challenges to humans.

“We’ve invested some of our best and brightest minds to the creation of R2,” said Ken Knight, GM executive director, global manufacturing engineering. “Working with NASA’s scientists and engineers we are confident we have created the most technologically advanced robot in the world.”