Amazing Photos Of NASA's Cool New Robot Coming To Life

NASA’s newest project – a human-like robot called the Robonaut 2 or R2 – is alive and slated to go on a mission later this year.

The Robonaut 2 weighs about 300 pounds, runs on a battery and will join the team of the Discovery shuttle scheduled for takeoff on November 1.

Although R2 will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose — helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

Time to wake up the beast.

NASA engineers examine the fit.

GM Engineer Muhammad Abdallah and Oceaneering Space Systems engineer Brian Hargrave test new software upgrades.

GM Engineer Muhammad Abdallah and Oceaneering Space Systems engineer Brian Hargrave test new software upgrades on the R2 flight unit.

Photographer: Kris Kehe

Gently putting the Robonaut into the front of the baseplate.

Robonaut 2, or R2, is lowered to a base plate, which is part of its launch box.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, Robonaut 2, or R2, is lowered to a base plate, which is part of its launch box called SLEEPR, or Structural Launch Enclosure to Effectively Protect Robonaut. R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

Engineers secure the Robonaut and pray the demonstration goes well.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, Robonaut 2, or R2, is secured to a base plate, which is part of its launch box called SLEEPR, or Structural Launch Enclosure to Effectively Protect Robonaut. R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

Behold the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, Robonaut 2, or R2.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, Robonaut 2, or R2, is prepared for its lift and installation in a launch box called SLEEPR, or Structural Launch Enclosure to Effectively Protect Robonaut. R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, Robonaut 2, or R2, is lifted for its installation in a launch box called SLEEPR, or Structural Launch Enclosure to Effectively Protect Robonaut. R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

It's alive.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, Robonaut (R2) is put through its paces during a demonstration at a media event hosted by NASA. R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

And tweeting.

Robonaut 2 -- or R2 for short -- is now on tweeting at www.twitter.com/AstroRobonaut. With the help of its team, the robot sent its first tweet on July 26. R2 will be travelling to the International Space Station aboard Discovery as part of the STS-133 mission. Photographer: Joe Bibby

Follow his twitter @AstroRobonaut

Robonaut 2 -- or R2 for short -- is now on tweeting at www.twitter.com/AstroRobonaut. With the help of its team, the robot sent its first tweet on July 26. R2 will be travelling to the International Space Station aboard Discovery as part of the STS-133 mission. Photographer: Joe Bibby

Upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, Robonaut (R2) flexes its mechanical muscles during a media event hosted by NASA. R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

For now he is on a media roadshow.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, Ron Diftler, NASA Robonaut project manager explains to the audience how the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, Robonaut (R2) can be of service while in space. R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, Ron Diftler, NASA Robonaut project manager, talks to the media about the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, Robonaut (R2). R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

Jason Rhian enthusiastically shakes the hand of Robonaut.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, Jason Rhian with Spacevidcast, enthusiastically shakes the hand of Robonaut (R2) during a media event hosted by NASA. R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

What else can he do?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, NASA hosted a media event featuring Robonaut (R2), a dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, to the participants. R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

Only NASA engineers know about his true potential.

NASA engineer Lyndon Bridgwater monitoring R2 during EMI testing at Johnson Space centre.

Photographer: Joe Bibby

Soft Goods Designer Heather Bibby and Engineer Court Edmondson fit check R2's new flight suit.

Soft Goods Designer Heather Bibby and Engineer Court Edmondson fit check R2's new flight suit.

Photographer: Kris Kehe

Looking good R2.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space centre in Florida, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, Robonaut (R2) is on display during a media event hosted by NASA. R2 will fly to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. Although it will initially only participate in operational tests, upgrades could eventually allow the robot to realise its true purpose -- helping spacewalking astronauts with tasks outside the space station.

Time for bed.

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