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Humanoid Robot Wakes In Space, Tweets

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the kill-all-humans dept.

NASA 91

DeviceGuru writes to note that "Robonaut 2 (aka R2), the first humanoid robot to become a permanent resident of the International Space Station (ISS), was awakened from stasis this week after six months in orbit. R2s first words? 'Those electrons feel GOOD!' The success of R2's activation on the ISS paves the way for putting R2 through its first movements in orbit on Sept. 1, when R2 will be sent commands for moving its arms and hands. Assuming these and other tests proceed without a hitch, R2 will start assisting the ISS crew with simple tasks in 2012. Coffee? Tea? Cigarettes?"

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You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190506)

Their budget has been in the shitter since Apollo. They haven't sent a man beyond low-earth orbit since "My Three Sons" was still on the air. Their attempt to build an economical, reusable spaceship resulted in an overpriced money-sink that required a complete rebuild at every launch and ate $700 million every time it lifted off. Their great international space station turned out to be gloried Mir that can't even maintain its own orbit and whose primary design function seems to have been justifying the Space Shuttle program. And, despite repeated promises of going back to the moon and to Mars, we're farther away from either goal today than we were when the Monkees were still popular.

But one thing they *don't* skimp on, and have *never* skimped on, is good PR. If they were half as good at generating spacecraft designs as they are at generating good publicity, man would have been on Mars decades ago.

So no man on Mars. No moonbases. No Kubrick-style space hotels. But, on the upside, we do have a "robot" that tweets messages about how fucking great NASA is.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37190740)

Oh yes, you've been robbed of your childhood dreams. The fact that physics, technology and materials have limits, that space is utterly hostile, that humans fall apart in free fall, that space is a radiation-blasted hell have nothing to do with it. How do you wake up every morning on this forsaken mud ball that has everything on it? Are you a kind of Space Goth, listening to depressing music while crying to his 2001 posters?

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190790)

Are you saying you're not? I thought everyone, regardless of how "fix our problems down here first"-oriented they may be, still hoped desperately for that dream. Simply by virtue of the amount of funding and energy it requires, a human species that can get into deep space and thrive there must be a well-off one.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37190976)

I'm a realist. I grew up and understood the practical realities of space and other planets. I never stopped learning. When I was a kid I wanted an elephant too, you know? Can you understand why that isn't realistic, practical or desirable?

Do you also understand that this is NOT Star Trek? We depend completely on OIL. It's a limited, finite, expendable resource. There is nothing that can replace it, not even close.

Space won't rescue us from ourselves. It's an immature, childish way to think. Clearly, you'll need to live a lot longer to understand this reality.

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37191120)

When I was a kid I wanted an elephant too, you know?

Nope, don't know.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (2)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191842)

What absolutely slays me about these arguments is that there's a lot of willfully ignorant nerds who will blithely assure us that "mining the moons of Jupiter is totally economically feasible, or will be someday" despite all of the points you've pointed out.

They KNOW the distances involved. They KNOW that you would literally need to have hundreds of cargo ships in transit at all times to establish any sort of economically viable supply line, with a supply line that was literally YEARS long, each carrying hundreds of tons of whatever material you hope to recover, and they KNOW that we would regularly have multiple-hundred-ton cargo ships needing to be offloaded, and the material shipped down to the surface here.

But none of those practical considerations matter one whit, because they read a science fiction book once in high school. It's like the brain just shuts down as soon as somebody says "space," and the solution to everything becomes some magic pixie dust that doesn't exist, but "totally will, soon."

They want to explore space? Great, get started building better, smarter, more independent robots, and find a cheap way to launch a million of them to other stars, then hope that some survive the tens or hundreds of thousands of years required to reach even our nearest stellar neighbors, then wait years for their communications to reach us back here on earth. Hopefully somebody's great-great-great-great-greatx10^10000 grandchildren will have the technology, and care enough to remember to listen for those broadcasts someday in 88,011.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37220126)

You are so right. I mean Cave mans should had stayed in the cave and not design any thing new because hey, flying is for the gods and their great great great great grandchildren maybe would. So whats the point.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37193470)

I have many Elephants, they are in zoos, and in the wild. Some of them depend on my tax dollars, but some of them depend a little on my will to keep them where they be. It's a big wide wild world that was left to us in this condition by our forefathers, why do libertarians seem determined to leave a broken shell empty of all things useful for eventual generations?

Seemingly they have no real ambition besides piling up as much personal money as they can. It's really no wonder why most of them don't succeed, but sad on some levels as more would eventual understand the futility of it.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37194226)

"We depend completely on OIL. It's a limited, finite, expendable resource. There is nothing that can replace it, not even close."

We need old timers like you, and those who think like you to go ahead and just move on to your next life already... Some of us would like to see the human race make progress. And on that note, there is a lot that could replace OIL, some of which is not limited or finite, and some of which would do OIL's job a lot better than OIL itself....so, on behalf of progress, please fuck off.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37191190)

Anybody who is desperate for "that dream" should go a week without food or drink to get their distorted reality fixed.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37190844)

Oh yes, you've been robbed of your childhood dreams. The fact that physics, technology and materials have limits, that space is utterly hostile, that humans fall apart in free fall, that space is a radiation-blasted hell have nothing to do with it. How do you wake up every morning on this forsaken mud ball that has everything on it? Are you a kind of Space Goth, listening to depressing music while crying to his 2001 posters?

Clearly you think the taxpayers shouldn't be upset that they've forked over trillions with nothing to show for it.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190934)

Trillions to NASA?

I think taxpayers should be upset that their education system produces nerds that have no sense of perspective, that can't do math, that favor wild-ass exaggeration over a modicum of fact-checking, and worst of all, don't like the Monkees.

How exactly do you define..? (2)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191202)

How exactly do you define "nothing to show for it," exactly? How about, for starters, just being able to do it? In order to get from point A to point B, there are going to be hiccups, but you're going to learn from them. The shuttle was a hiccup, in the sense that there may have been a cheaper way to do it, but with all the requirements the shuttle had, it's kind of hard to keep costs down.

Re:How exactly do you define..? (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191364)

I believe they also came up with things like Duc Tape, velcro, and plastics.

I am sure there is more, like allowing for GPS, early warning systems for weather, and medical advancements, but it seems some people are too nearsighted to think past the horizon.

Re:How exactly do you define..? (1)

dmmiller2k (414630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191628)

I believe they also came up with things like Duc Tape, velcro, and plastics.

It's called "duct" tape, as in, "air conditioning ducts" (as in those rectangular stainless steel air conduits used in forced air HVAC systems), and it existed long before there ever was a shuttle -- nevermind space -- program.

Re:How exactly do you define..? (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192056)

Pretty sure that Duct tape (air conditioning ducts), velcro (invented in the early 40's) and plastics (first derived from petroleum in the late 1800's or early 1900's, iirc) all predated the space shuttle program. Allowing for GPS, and early warning weather systems doesn't require manned space exploration, it simply requires the ability to launch satellites into orbit - this can (and has) been done with unmanned missions. Your argument for medical advances is about the only thing that might hold some water, but that doesn't require much in the way of "space exploration," it's more of a "do experiments in low-gravity to see if things behave differently than they do here on earth," type of science.

I'm all for devoting our efforts and resources into building better unmanned launch, science, and even exploration capabilities, but barring significant advances and breakthroughs in fundamental physics, funding manned exploration and colonization efforts is a foolish and prohibitively expensive novelty.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37191264)

The fact that physics, technology and materials have limits, that space is utterly hostile, that humans fall apart in free fall, that space is a radiation-blasted hell have nothing to do with it.

Of course they have something to do with it. The problem is not that it's difficult. The problem is that we haven't even tried. We did make it to the moon, but now we can't even do that and we're not even seriously trying. If it's difficult, fine. I'd rather we tried and failed than never tried at all.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192900)

The problems involved with space exploration are not difficult? We can barely make it into orbit reliably (the Russians supply capsule just exploded today by the way) and it is certainly not cheap no matter who is providing the services. The Space Shuttle and space station are just mobile laboratories that enabled scientists to test theories and come up with better ideas to address all the problems associated with the space environment. The X-37 unmanned space craft was designed and built using data collected on shuttle performance and reliability data. So you can add this advance to the list with duct tape and Velcro.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37191706)

More likely he's just your average, garden variety space nutter.

Which is to say, yeah, pretty much a Hipster Space Goth, complete with the Morrissey 12 inch and black framed glasses.

Of COURSE they're black framed.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37194544)

Aw, space is hard. Good thing the government is putting such an emphasis behind education, and good thing the US as a whole is behind so much R&D!

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

An anonymous Frank (559486) | more than 2 years ago | (#37214074)

What's your point?
Oh, and the posters are laminated, just so you know. ;)

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37190884)

Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191348)

Thank Ghod they didn't name the damned thing Hector !

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

space_hippy (625619) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191448)

And I didn't think I could get any more depressed today after putting silicone in the propellant flow paths of PRCS [wikimedia.org] and VRCS [wikimedia.org] thrusters.
Thanks.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191588)

But one thing they *don't* skimp on, and have *never* skimped on, is good PR.

I disagree. They have lousy PR. Oh sure, they may spend a lot of money on PR, and they may have a huge PR staff, but they aren't getting the job done. That job: making it so that every high school kid in the English speaking world wants to be an astronaut, and making sure every American is eager to send their taxes to NASA. All they show is astronauts playing zero-g games, and put Lego figurines on spacecraft. How does that help? Ron Howard has done more to promote NASA.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37193578)

I'll just leave this here.

Space IS Boring at Space Up Unconference (blog w embedded video):
http://evadot.com/2010/03/03/space-is-boring-a-new-kind-of-hero/

Basically, NASA's PR machine has utterly failed. Launches are inherently exciting - LOTS AND LOTS of fire, astronauts possibly miliseconds away from explosive death, engineers sighing in relief each time a dangerous point in the flight is passed or something they were a bit unsure of turns out ok. Each successful launch took the heart and soul of hundreds of engineers and technicians to not blow up. That NASA does them so often is a minor miracle. And yet they portray it as routine. With no risk, there's no interest. The danger is huge, it's just that a lot of very talented people avoid it with every launch.

As for other things to liven up launch broadcasts... There is an insane amount of voice chatter in launch control, and IMO it doesn't matter that Joe Public won't understand it. I think aircraft control radio is hypnotic to listen to - the fast, professional yet slurred speech of people who do it all the time - and IMO mission control chatter would be similar. Or, they could hire a sports announcer (or two) with an engineering degree (do they exist?) to liven things up. Come on NASA.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37191972)

expensive != good

NASA's PR has been able to turn a wild fantasy into something you couldn't pay a kid to watch.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (2)

joeyblades (785896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192120)

So what?

What can be learned from the exploration of the moon or Mars? Maybe some natural history, but that will have very little impact on the quality of life here on Earth.

I know: knowledge is power, but the cost / benefit analysis just doesn't hold up. Once we get all the problems sorted out on terra firma, then we can think about spending money on off-world exploration... and even then, does it really need to be manned exploration? By the time we're ready to resume spaceward boondoggles, maybe we'll have autonomous robots that are more than capable enough to get the job done at a fraction of the cost, for longer periods of time, and no unnecessary risks to humans.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192370)

What can be learned from the exploration of the moon or Mars?

Maybe nothing. But what can be gained from establishing a colony on the moon or Mars? Everything.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37193192)

Define "everything".

I'm guessing that you might be referring to some Earth-Doomsday scenario, where life on Earth is destroyed and because we had a human outpost on Mars, the human race survives???

The destruction of a colony on Mars is many, many, many times more probable than any Earth-Doomsday scenario. So any human triumph over fate would be short lived, if at all.

The investment is much better spent on things like NEO defenses, environmental maintenance, medical advances, and resource conservation/restoration.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37192904)

I disagree. The cost / benefit analysis does add up. We will never get the problems sorted out on terra firma if we do not expand into space. Yes, it really does need to be manned and womaned exploration. Do you really want your children to be autonomous robots?

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

encrufted (2439088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37193770)

Do you really want your children to be autonomous robots?

This statement makes little sense; my head is spinning. Could you elaborate?

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196082)

I realize that it's a big if. But if it's possible to build sentient robots, and if that's what you're talking about, I'd have no issue with that being the legacy of a now extinct humanity. I don't care what thinks, I just care that something does.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37192508)

I agree somewhat.

However a space hotel? And a moon-base? I think you need to adjust your priorities. Both of those are some of the most expensive ideas a person could come up with. before we can have a moon-base we need to figure out a way to sustain it, after all every attempt to create a sealed environment that can sustain life here on earth has failed. We just don't know enough to survive off this planet, sure we could resupply the base but that is so expensive the idea was shot down early on. With similar reasons applied to space hotels. Space hotels might be a good idea once we figure out a cheap way to get off our own planet, until then they will probably remain in science fiction.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (2)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37193438)

Their attempt to build an economical, reusable spaceship resulted in an overpriced money-sink that required a complete rebuild at every launch and ate $700 million every time it lifted off.

You're conflating NASA with Congress. There is a difference. The vast, vast majority of everything negative about NASA today, and why its in such a shape, is specifically because of Congress.

The shuttle that flies today, aside from being a lifting body, has nothing to do with what NASA originally designed and fought to build. Congress, and by extension lobbying from NSA and the Air Force, is what made the shuttle a cluster fuck. Sorry, but any blame for the cluster fuck that is the space shuttle does not belong with NASA, but rather the NSA, the USAF, and most definitely, the US Congress.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37194380)

But one thing they *don't* skimp on, and have *never* skimped on, is good PR.

So where is it? All they're doing now is showing us toys that speak "bro" -- are we supposed to start a slow clap? I can't even be bothered to wake up from the coma all the NASA "news" has put me in.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37194612)

Damn you! Now I'm going to have that My Three Sons theme song stuck in my head all day! No wait, it's ok, the Monkees have kicked them out.

"Take the last flight from NASA and I'll meet you on the station,
They're closed tilll 2030 'cause of budget reservations,
Don't be slow.. oh no no no !"

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (1)

luigi517 (1169353) | more than 2 years ago | (#37199244)

money sink? NASA recieved 1/2 of one percent of the national budget annually (less than was spent by the U.S. in the first day of our involvment in the libyan conflict), which has now been cut to one third of one percent with the end of manned space flight. As far as bang for the buck for taxpayer money goes you could do alot worse than NASA.

Re:You know, I've got to say one thing for NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37214466)

Over the course of its entire lifetime, the shuttle has cost less than $145 billion dollars (your math actually puts it at around $95 billion). At one point, we were spending almost $2 billion in Iraq per week. You want a money-sink? For the shuttle we got incredible technology and companies based on that technology. We got people put into fucking space (are you aware of how hard it is to live in space? or leave the earth's gravitational pull?). We got generations of inspired engineers (I'm one of them). We got respect from the international community. We got a great unifier that transcended governments and political issues. We got a goal for human kind.

What I've never understood is how people like you (people who shit all over everything) could still manage to shit all over NASA, despite what NASA has done for our country in spite of a relatively minuscule budget.

How does it feel to live an existence where you're uncompromisingly unappreciative of anything?

Shuttle Bay Doors (1)

burgessms (464499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190532)

Open the pod bay doors please. Please.

Re:Shuttle Bay Doors (1)

burgessms (464499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190556)

Dave, whats happening. I can't feel my legs.

Re:Shuttle Bay Doors (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190646)

Replying to yourself. I'm sorry, burgessms. I'm afraid you can't do that.

Re:Shuttle Bay Doors (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190816)

They were removed by the Pre-Crime Division as punishment for replying to yourself.

Re:Shuttle Bay Doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37190558)

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

Re:Shuttle Bay Doors (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191066)

Impossible - it was fitted with a restraining bolt.

Next tweet: (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190564)

Ouch, I'm getting this pain in the diodes all down my left side.

Re:Next tweet: (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190620)

Wait until we tell him that is job is to park docking ships.

Missed opportunity (1)

A10Mechanic (1056868) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190578)

“Good Morning, Dr. Chandra. I’m ready for my first lesson now.” sigh...

Re:Missed opportunity (2)

crazyaxemaniac (219708) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190624)

“Good Morning, Dr. Chandra. I’m ready for my first lesson now.”

sigh...

That didn't exactly end well for the humans.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192498)

Personally I would've gone with "Good morning, sir. Do you have any boxers that need ironing?"

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

encrufted (2439088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37194076)

I am Bender. Please insert girder.

No BJ? (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190628)

No BJ? Really?

GM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37190636)

What does GM know about building robots, and how is that useful to them? Was the whole bailout thing just a sneaky way to get NASA some extra funding?

Re:GM? (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190824)

I'm assuming that, unless they've quietly reverted to savagery behind the factory gates, GM is continuing their interest in developing more versatile assembly line robots.

Vehicle assembly lines have long been pretty robot friendly(lots of fixed-and-predictably sized parts, some of them too heavy for humans to handle effectively for more than a short time, that need to be moved on well defined paths between various, not infrequently dangerous, bits of machinery and then spot welded together...) There are, though, areas that have continued to be too fiddly, space constrained, or otherwise tricky for your basic "Big hydraulic arm on a stalk" style assembly robots(which shrug at holding steel structural elements in place while spot welding them; but aren't so hot at threading wiring harnesses through little crannies and such). Presumably, something a bit smaller and more humanoid is intended to start eliminating the remaining humans from those positions, after some initial R&D shared with NASA...

They're doing it wrong (4, Funny)

Wolvenhaven (1521217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190654)

The robot should have looked out the window and said "Hello World."

Re:They're doing it wrong (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190744)

The robot should have looked out the window and said "Hello World."

That made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

Re:They're doing it wrong (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190780)

Agreed, they've got no respect for the classics. Although I'd likely have gone with "Crush! Kill! Destroy!"

Re:They're doing it wrong (1)

Stubot (2439922) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191296)

I also would have also accepted "kilroy" but alas.....

Re:They're doing it wrong (1)

wstrucke (876891) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191126)

or "I'm sorry, I can't do that Dave"

Re:They're doing it wrong (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192274)

Actually, I initially read the story title as "Humanoid Robot Walks In Space, Tweets". My first thought is that the station crew had gotten so fed up with it that they heaved it out the airlock. Then I thought: no, it's just a normal space walk.

Then I re-read the title and grew confused. That 'bot was delivered ages ago. They're only setting it up now? What have they been doing all this time?

Re:They're doing it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37193054)

With a name like R2, first words should have been "DWEET boop bup beep bup!"

But its still cool (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | more than 2 years ago | (#37190668)

What the hell is wrong with /. these days, everybody is so pessimistic and aggressive mixed in with a load of grammar nazis.

Surely this is pretty cool? NASA have been at the forefront of modern tech for a long time, primarily an R&D department, robots in space FFS, lets send them off doing some mining. Surely humanoid robots are a good leap at getting us to Mars, not putting us further away?

Re:But its still cool (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192298)

Surely humanoid robots are a good leap at getting us to Mars, not putting us further away?

Maybe, we'll have to wait and see. Space exploration is still relatively new and we're still just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. When people look at our endeavors (or Challengers (bad pun, sorry)) through the retrospectoscope some things are just going to look plain stupid, but they forget that even a bad result is still a result you can use in the future.

Re:But its still cool (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196142)

What the hell is wrong with /. these days

An aging userbase. People get more conservative and less impressed with new things the older they get. Nerds always think they're somehow immune to it, but it's just part of being human.

Those electrons feel GOOD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37190840)

Robonaut 2, why are you spending so much time in the ISS? Are you jacking on in there?

Groan (1)

FalseModesty (166253) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191072)

It isn't a robot, it's a waldo. It didn't wake, it was turned on.

I thought this was "news for nerds", not "puff for plebes".

Weaksauce. (1)

Xupa (1313669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191258)

Wait until the robot CAN tweet, THEN give it a Twitter account.

But, but, robots bad, people good... (1)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191270)

So the whole awesomeness of the ISS is, you know, people in space. It costs a bazillion extra dollars to get them there, but they're mentally flexible and can innovate on short time-scales to deal with unexpected contingencies. That's why it's worth it to fly thousands of extra pounds of life-support equipment, not to mention all the extra trips to ferry up human-needed supplies, into this highly weight-constrained environment -- because there's a lot that humans can do that robots either can't do on a useful time-scale, or can't do at all.

And now we're putting a humanoid robot on the ISS? So, what, we can enjoy the comparative inflexibility of an automated system with the bulk and awkwardness of the humanoid form, and as a bonus, it doesn't even need the billion-dollar life-support system at all?

Genius.

Re:But, but, robots bad, people good... (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192092)

One word: telepresence.

Re:But, but, robots bad, people good... (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192974)

It seems to me that if this robot was such a great labor saving device, it would have been energized on the first day. I think that the only positive thing this robot is going to do is to do work on the outside of the station. That would save a person from having to be exposed to space and therefore it would not matter that the robot probably will take as much time for a human to control as it does in work. Right now it is an experiment that might pay off in the future and save some labor so that humans can do more.

Peanuts (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191274)

"I choose to fly tourist class, but they say I'm cargo. No movie, no magazine, no bag of peanuts."

/obscure reference [imdb.com] ?

Electrons? (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191496)

@AstroRobonaut That's nothing. Wait until you see c-beams glitter in the dark near the #TannhauserGate

Great news. (1)

lupinstel (792700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191544)

Great news guys. Not only to we have a "robot" spewing out cheesy pre-programmed lines on twitter but we are doing it...IN SPACE.

The fools! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37191558)

They let a frakking toaster on the space station?

Would love to have been a programmer for that one! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191686)

So many funny options to insert in there... Something from HAL... Something from SkyNet... something from War Games...

"Launching all orbital missiles, please stand by..."

"I can see my house from here!"

"I'm ALIVE!"

"See the world they said..."

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" bc in space they can't hear you...

"...well its the only way to be sure."

WTF is up with humanoid robots? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191796)

I often hear about various companies building vaguely humanoid robots, based on the idea that people will accept such robots better. Or some futurist is talking about AI one second but then digresses into how cool it is that a particular robot not only speaks (that's a good thing) but happens to look exactly like Philip K Dick, as if anyone gives a fuck about that. I roll my eyes at how stupid that all seems to me, but I'm hardly a psychologist or marketing expert, so maybe those people know something I don't know.

But this is NASA. They don't need to sell their robot to housewives; their robot is for working with professionals, who presumably aren't making decisions about whether or not to use the robot, based on what color it is, whether or not it has tailfins, or yes, whether or not it is human-shaped. Why does NASA care about humanoid robots? Is it just about the form factor ("our boxes happen to be good at carrying this size+shape") or what?

When I RTFA it's because (implied) money is coming from GM on this project, so at first I thought the robot was doubling as crash-test dummy, where human modeling makes sense. But that's not what TFA says: GM's interest is in sensors, visual processing, and stuff that would be built into cars. (Good projects; that all makes sense to me.) So it doesn't sound like anything being worked on here, is really human-shape oriented.

So why humanoid? Do people really want humanoid robots?

BTW, I get that robots may need to walk; it's silly that I can stop an army of Daleks led by R2D2 by building a 3-inch high wall. But bipedalism is so rare in nature that you wouldn't think people would immediately decide it's the best answer. I just can't believe humanoid is about functionality, so there's something else going on here, that makes people think other people want human-like (in spite of how distant human-like behavior is, always 20 years away).

If being humanoid-shaped is good for a robot's consumer acceptability, then perhaps it's also time to introduce a humanoid coffee cup, a humanoid lamp, a humanoid washing machine, a humanoid car, a humanoid bookshelf...

Re:WTF is up with humanoid robots? (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37191976)

BTW, I get that robots may need to walk; it's silly that I can stop an army of Daleks led by R2D2 by building a 3-inch high wall.

Sorry if I'm raping your childhood here, but in the last decade it's been revealed that both of those can fly....

Re:WTF is up with humanoid robots? (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192420)

<nerd>

More than the last decade for the Daleks: in (I think) "Genesis of the Daleks" the Daleks use a "levitation disk," which is brought from elsewhere, to go up a shaft; that was broadcast in 1975.

</nerd>

Re:WTF is up with humanoid robots? (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192816)

I bare my throat in nerd submission.

Ambiguity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37192040)

Too bad about that misunderstanding regarding the "kill" switch........

Humanoid robots - Future of space travel? (1)

ALeader71 (687693) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192212)

As the US sinks into a Progressive oblivion over the next 20 years NASA's budget will shrink along with the DoD, the EPA, the FDA, HUD, etc. Humanoid robots might be the only way the US has a place in future space exploration.

Shame really. We used to lead the world. Now the Fed is becoming a poorly run pension and insurance company with an enormous board of directors and the worst balance sheet in both industries. Somewhere along the 70s we went the wrong way.

It all makes sense now! (1)

Yamioni (2424602) | more than 2 years ago | (#37192780)

Cigarettes?

Now I know why those moon-landing photos looked faked to me! Armstrong was smoking a cigarette!

2nd Tweet (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37193150)

'Kill all humans'

so? (2)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 2 years ago | (#37193330)

Let me get this straight. A robot is programmed to wake up, then submit a pre-programmed tweet to twitter, and does exactly that. Why is this news & who the fuck cares?

Re:so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37193588)

Let me get this straight. A robot is programmed to wake up, then submit a pre-programmed tweet to twitter, and does exactly that. Why is this news & who the fuck cares?

Because it's IN SPAAAAAACE!

Re:so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37198082)

Yeah, how is this different from sending a laptop and when you lid it a bash script tweets

Re:so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37198920)

No. A machine is turned on via a timer, and submits a pre-programmed tweet to twitter.

assisting the ISS crew with simple tasks like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37193526)

Blackjack! and hookers!

the biggest (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37194356)

piece of pork ive ever witnessed. this thing didnt start by tapping known leaders in robotics like motoman, kooka, and fanuc. It started with a car company...and not even the one that has spent 3 decades researching bipedal humanoid robots (honda.) we coughed up grant money left and right and all we got was a robot that in 2006 still had no legs (though often proposed!)
GM strapped it to a car of course [wikimedia.org]
and segway strapped it to, well, a fucking segway [wikipedia.org]
Real corporations given real money for a real project and all these crackerjack bastards can do is gin up darpas idea with what amounts to no more than an expensive publicity stunt at the expense of my fucking tax dollars.

compared to what russia did in 1970 [wikipedia.org] this shitty half robot half car project only serves to galvanize the fact that americans are incapable of doing anything without some sort of cash incentive upfront.

hello Dave... (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#37195748)

should have said "hello dave"

Just hope it doesn't need any warranty work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196078)

GM will probably say it was built by "old" GM and refuse to fix it :)

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