Thursday, September 21, 2017

Magnitogorsk creating android for spacewalks

According to the Chelyabinsk regional government, technological designers in Magnitogorsk are creating an SAR-400 android to help astronauts on spacewalks.

The android will be able to work in orbit and to carry out minor mechanical work independently, including examining the spacecraft skin for cracks, tightening screws and playing chess, Russia Beyond the Headlines reports.

"The android will assist Russian astronauts. It may examine the spaceship exterior for possible cracks and adjust equipment," a representative of the Chelyabinsk regional government, said, according to Itar-Tass. "The robot may be used inside a spaceship, as well."

The robot will be sent to the International Space Station over the next two years and, if it goes well, the SAR-400 may be sent to the moon, Mars and other planets. While robotic devices are already in use on the ISS, the developers believe that this model has capabilities far beyond use within the station.

"There are far more interesting objectives than helping cosmonauts on the ISS," Sergei Avdeyev, a Russian astronaut, said, according to Russia Beyond the Headlines.

The SAR-400 android allows the operator to manipulate the device from a distance. The android will be operable by both the astronauts and mission control.

"The operator needs to wear a vest and gloves with sensors," Vladislav Sychkov, the technical director of android technology research, said, according to Itar-Tass. "SAR-400 will repeat movements of the operator and transmit video, audio and even tactile data."