A humanoid robot called Robonaut 2, which was developed by Nasa for use in the International Space Station (ISS), has inspired researchers on earth to develop innovations for both space and earth.
Robonaut 2, developed by Nasa's Johnson Space Centre, first landed at the International Space Station in 2011. The humanoid was designed to help astronauts outside of the ISS in various complex tasks so as to prevent astronauts from undertaking complicated spacewalks.
Now, according to a report in Space, researchers on earth are aiming to implement the humanoid system on both space and earth, to aid humans ranging across sectors in complicated activities.
Nasa's Robonaut 2 has hands that look similar to ours, and the humanoid is capable of performing tasks such as catching or holding objects, lifting devices and even operating switches.
Robonaut's design has already inspired Nasa to develop the "Iron-Man" like X1 exoskeleton, which astronomers can make use of in space missions. X1 exoskeleton is designed to give astronauts enhanced leg flexibility and inhibition during space walks.
"Worn over the legs with a harness that reaches up the back and around the shoulders, X1 has 10 degrees of freedom, or joints - four motorised joints at the hips and the knees, and six passive joints that allow for sidestepping, turning and pointing, and flexing a foot. There also are multiple adjustment points, allowing the X1 to be used in many different ways," states Nasa on its official website.
Apart from use by space explorers, X1 is also designed to aid the physically disabled on earth. People with walking disabilities can use X1 as a 'walking assist'. Check out the below video to know about how X1 doubles up as a walking assist.
Likewise, another project that takes inspiration from Robonauts is Roboglove that is designed by Nasa to enable astronauts firmly grip objects in space.
At present, scientists are focussed on the humanoid at the telemedicine sector and this is evident from the fact that Robonaut recently underwent multiple usefulness tests at the Methodist Hospital in the American city of Houston.
"The robot could stabilise an injured individual or do nursing-level work, even on Earth," said Ron Diftler Robon, project manager for Robonaut, in a statement, to Space.
"That essentially transports a doctor's skill and presence to somewhere the doctor can't go or, in an emergency situation, where it would be dangerous for a person to go," he added.