Meet SAR-401, the Russian 'astrobot' that could be working aboard the International Space Station as soon as next year

November 28, 2013 7:50 AM

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Meet SAR-401, the Russian 'astrobot' that could be working aboard the International Space Station as soon as next year

He might look like an extra member of Daft Punk, but Russia’s robot humanoid is set to be joining astronauts aboard the International Space Station as early as next year.

Scientists at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Centre in Star City Centre, just outside Moscow, have shown off their creation, called SAR-401.

Russia is working on its own version of Nasa’s Robonaut, which is already lending a hand on the International Space Station – so the two robots might work together in the future.

A slightly earlier model called SAR-400 is scheduled to be blasted into space in 2014.

Russia’s robonaut is similar to Nasa’s as it is not designed to be completely autonomous but is operated remotely from the ground, Spectrum reported.

A Russian scientist demonstrated how by putting on a pair of specially designed gloves, he is able to control the robot’s arms and hands, which are based on a human’s and can perform delicate tasks.

The robot can lift up to 10 kilograms on Earth, though it will be able to lift more than that in a zero-gravity environment. It is capable of operating inside or outside the space station.

Oleg Gordiyenko, science directorate deputy head at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Centre Research Institute, said: ‘It's to perform operations both aboard the ISS and outside.

The robot has been built by Android Technics and the company’s executive director, Vladislav Sychkov, said: ‘We have completed R&D for the development of the robot’s new key assembly unit, which is a "shoulder" with three degrees of freedom.

He told Russian publication RIA Novosti (via Marchmont Innovation News) there is no need for the robot to have legs and it focuses on a torso and two ‘manipulator arms’ as well as a head module.

SAR-400 is planned to join Nasa’s Robonaut 2 at the International Space Station, which has also been built to look a little like a person.

Robonaut 2 also has a head, upper body and hands. Its head has cameras that work like eyes, as well as moving fingers that can manipulate the same tools as astronauts.

Its upper body can be placed on different lower halves, including a set of wheels.

The robot works in two ways: It either receives a simple job to do and uses an onboard computer to work out how to perform the task, or can be run by remote control by a person wearing a headset, who can see what the robots sees and then control it from Earth.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

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