Available Technology

Robonaut 2: Logistics and Distribution

Highly dexterous humanoid robot designed to handle complex environments to accomplish tasks

Researchers at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), in collaboration with General Motors and Oceaneering, have designed a state-of-the-art, highly dexterous, humanoid robot: Robonaut 2 (R2). R2's nearly 50 patented and patent-pending technologies have the potential to be game-changers in multiple industries including logistics and distribution. Even though R2 is currently designed with only a mobile upper body, R2's ability to accomplish complex and delicate operations provides a higher level of sophistication not currently seen in the existing robotics field for logistics and distribution. In terms of handling inventory, R2's dexterity would allow it to handle a multitude of items, including delicate ones. R2 can safely work in close proximity to humans, making the robot suitable to work in complex environments such as distribution centers. R2 has the ability to operate equipment and machines designed for humans, like hand-held power tools or inventory-scanning equipment. R2's design enables many useful applications in logistics and distribution.

Benefits

  • Upper Body: Designed to handle unexpected objects coming into its path
  • Sensing: Uses its vision, force and tactile sensing to carry out tasks in real time
  • Visual system: Multiple cameras provide stereo vision and depth perception
  • Dexterous: Uses many of the same tools created for human use
  • Safe Interactions: Capable of working side-by-side with people

Applications

  • Logistics
  • Distribution Centers and Warehouses
  • Freight Transportation
  • Inventory Management

The Technology

Robonaut 2 is a humanoid robot with many capabilities that allow it to perform tasks normally not done by robots.
Robonaut 2 is a humanoid robot with many capabilities that allow it to perform tasks normally not done by robots.


R2 was designed to work side-by-side with people and to be sensitive to its surroundings. The robot's advanced vision systems and recognition processing can quickly recognize a person in its path and take the appropriate action. If the robot comes into contact with a person or piece of equipment, it gives. There is no need to design specialized equipment for R2 because the robot has the ability to operate equipment and machines designed for humans, like hand-held power tools. R2 has the capability to improve the speed and accuracy of operations while maintaining sensitivity to its surroundings, making the robot prime for the logistics and distribution environment.

R2 was designed to handle unexpected objects coming into its path since it has to function in space where not everything is locked down. The robot has the ability to move in unconventional ways as compared to existing robots. Robonaut 1, an earlier version of R2, was integrated with a two-wheeled Segway personal transporter, giving it a range of motion. R2 has the capability of being integrated onto a two-wheeled base or a more rugged four-wheel base. An adaptable interface would enable R2 to integrate with other surface mobility systems.

This NASA Technology is available for your company to license and develop into a commercial product. NASA does not manufacture products for commercial sale.

Download a PDF fact sheet for this technology.

Learn more: https://technology.nasa.gov/patent/MSC-TOPS-46

 

Patent Number: 
8,176,809; 8,291,788; 8,443,693; 8,443,694; 8,442,684; 8,919,842
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
MSC-TOPS-46
Agency
NASA
State: 
Texas
Lab Representatives
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