Watch ISS Robotic Crew Member Robonaut 2's Climbing Legs in Motion
NASA engineers are developing and testing climbing legs for the International Space Station's robotic crew member Robonaut 2 (R2). Since its arrival at the station in February 2011, R2 has performed many tasks demonstrating its functionality in microgravity. These new legs will provide R2 the mobility it needs to help with regular and repetitive tasks inside and outside the space station. Once the legs are attached to the R2 torso early next year, R2 will have a fully extended leg span of nine feet. Each leg has seven joints and a device on what would be the feet called an end effector, which allow the robot to take advantage of handrails and sockets inside and outside the station. A vision system for the end effectors also will be used to verify and eventually automate each limb's approach and grasp.