Friday, January 11, 2013


Wired's Dan Cossins reports: [edited]

This is Justin, a humanoid robot that can be controlled in space by a human on Earth.

In 1993, Hirzinger was in charge of the ROTEX experiment, involving the first remotely controlled robot in space. "For seven years the joints on Justin were outside the International Space Station, where they worked perfectly," says Hirzinger. "I'm confident Justin could work on the Moon."

Justin can be controlled from 40,000km away, with only a 600-millisecond time delay. He has two dextrous hands on arms that mimic the motion of an exoskeleton-like diver's suit and provide force feedback, so the operator can feel what the robot feels.

Hirzinger says robots are already useful: "We do not need to wait until they are fully intelligent to send them into space - we're at the stage where we can control their movement from the ground."

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