Monday, October 12, 2015

Thirteen Years of Robots

Family Photo (taken by Chris Zamora)

An amazing thing happened at work a few weeks ago. All of the robots that my group has worked on in the last thirteen years came together in one place, starting from Robonaut all the way to Resource Prospector... It was so inspiring to see not just all of this technology together in one space, but also the people behind the work who made it all possible.

Robonaut 2 is the first project that I worked on as an intern and what got me hooked on working for this group. I was a mechanical designer in training and worked with the forearm/hand subsystem engineers.

Robonaut 2 - (clockwise from bottom left) Units C5, C1, C6, and A

Robonaut 2 checking out the SVMF viewing walkway (aka, the hamster tube). 

When I began as a full time employee, I worked on the Valkyrie project as one of the designers of the forearms, hands, and feet. 

Valkyrie - (left to right) Unit C, A, and B in MRV

Valkyrie, chillin' in MRV

The purpose of the robots that we build is to assist and enable astronauts to perform either menial or environmentally dangerous tasks. I am personally not sold on the idea of exclusively humanoid robots, but I do see the value in the intuitive control and motion of such systems. 

In any case, I am proud to be a part of this family of engineers and robots and look forward to seeing what the next thirteen years has in store for us.

Grandpa Robonaut, front and center.

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