It may sound like an episode of Battlestar Galactica, but it's true: NASA's humanoid robot has finally awakened in space, in preparation for its new role in the International Space Station.
Robonaut 2, the automaton astronaut, was activated in Monday after spending months in storage.
Those electrons feel GOOD! One small step for man, one giant leap for tinman kind, read a post on Robonaut 2's Twitter page, which was posted by an engineering team.
The first view seen through Robonaut's eyes was a panel of cables, dials and instruments, according to multiple reports.
Robonaut 2 - also known as R2 - was constructed by NASA as part of a joint project with General Motors, with the goal of perfecting the model so that it could help humans with complex tasks, whether in space or on Earth. In its current configuration, the humanoid robot has a head, torso, arms and incredibly dexterous hands and is attached to an anchor-like pole in lieu of legs and feet.
A pair of legs is currently being designed and will reportedly be launched in 2013.
Although it was flown to the space station during the shuttle Discovery's final flight in February, it was not removed from its box until President Obama reportedly encouraged crew members to set it free during a phone call to the space station.
C'mon, unpack the guy! He flew all that way and you guys aren't unpacking him? Obama joked.
Deputy project manager Nicolaus Radford told The Associated Press that if everything goes well, Robonaut may be able to take on a few chores - such as taking air velocity measurements inside the space station - early next year.
Robonaut 2 isn't the only humanoid that has been built by NASA. A twin of the robot stayed behind on Earth, and will be taken into the New Mexico desert next week as part of DesertRATS, a space-exploration technology demonstration test program, Space.com reports.