Visit to JSC
In mid February of 2004 Dr. Will Clement and I travelled to the Johnson Space Center to visit the Robonaut Lab headed by Dr. Rob Ambrose.
This was in an effort to familiarize ourselves with a cutting-edge robotic system that was designed for the space environment.
Shaking hands with Robonaut-B. This robot is the second generation unit and is equipped with two seven
degrees-of-freedom arms on a torso that is supported by a five degree-of-freedom positioning leg.
On the head are mounted two cameras that are used for machine vision systems.
Close-up of the hand without a glove. Notice the tendon actuated fingers and
the opposable thumb.
Detail of the shoulder joint of one of the arms without the protective fabric covering. The arm
harness (white bundle) is external to the arm hardware.
The precursor to the Robonaut, a robot called D.A.R.T. It uses two PUMA arms as the manipulator arms.
On this trip, one of my dreams came true! I got to ride a Segway HT. Rob was nice
enough to let us give his for a spin inside Building 9.
Building 9 is also the site where the astronaut trainers are located such as this one. This is called the Full Fuselage Trainer,
and is a complete mockup of the Shuttle crew cabin, Payload Bay and Aft Section. There is also a trainer of just the
crew compartment (the front part where the astronauts live) that can be tilted up and down. For more information, click here.
(c) Edward Cheung, all rights reserved.