Robonaut 2 completed its initial checkouts on board the International Space Station Wednesday, February 15, 2012 and went on to make history with the first human/robotic handshake to be performed in space. The humanoid robot then provided a message sent down in sign language. “Hello World,” the robot signed in American sign language, repeating the first tweet sent from its Twitter account, @AstroRobonaut, which also happens to be a traditional programming phrase.
R2, as the robot is nicknamed, launched to the International Space Station almost a year ago and has been put through a series of checkouts as its crewmates had time. The last of these checkouts started on Tuesday and finished today. All of the tests – which included force sensor verifications and free range movement demonstrations – were completed, wrapping up with the sign language message and a handshake between the robot and space station Commander Dan Burbank. View video of historic handshake with Robonaut 2.
“For the record, it was a firm handshake,” Burbank said. “Very nice. Nice job on the programming and all the engineering. Quite an impressive robot.”
And what about ALTEA? All these Robonaut activities were performed in the Destiny Laboratory and ALTEA was a direct witness. As you can see from following pictures, the white box that Commander Dan Burbank is about to stomp, and we hope he did not do this, is ALTEA DAU. Some of you that have particularly acute sight could also see ALTEA detectors in the top right angle at the bottom of the Lab.