As it can be seen in this blog, on of the technology topics I am really interested in is robotics. This is why, as soon as I read this news in La Vanguardia newspaper from Barcelona, I started writing this post.

The Robonaut R2 is a robot that will help with the maintenance of the International Space Station. It is scheduled to travel to the space station within the last voyage of the space shuttle Discovery that was supposed to take off yesterday but it was delayed due to a leak in a nitrogen tank.

From Nasa:

NASA will launch the first human-like robot to space later this year to become a permanent resident of the International Space Station. Robonaut 2, or R2, was developed jointly by NASA and General Motors under a cooperative agreement to develop a robotic assistant that can work alongside humans, whether they are astronauts in space or workers at GM manufacturing plants on Earth.

The 300-pound R2 consists of a head and a torso with two arms and two hands. R2 will launch on space shuttle Discovery as part of the STS-133 mission planned for September. Once aboard the station, engineers will monitor how the robot operates in weightlessness.

R2 will be confined to operations in the station’s Destiny laboratory. However, future enhancements and modifications may allow it to move more freely around the station’s interior or outside the complex.