I remember being really interested in the Robonaut project when it was first announced, and thinking how cool it was when it was finally launched to the ISS. Since then, I've heard little about the project. I happened across TildalWave's excellent answer here today and was surprised to learn that it has been four years since it was first powered up on the station and over a year since it was fitted with "legs". Yet besides that update, there seems to be little information available online as to what Robonaut actually does. There's a lot of talk about what it can do, but from what I can tell, its accomplishments seem to be:

  1. Looking cool
  2. Staying boxed up
  3. Serving as something to be upgraded in the future for vague purposes

Surely I've missed something. Is there an actual plan for Robonaut 2? I'd welcome a knowledge bomb to be dropped on my cynicism.

  • $\begingroup$ 4. Allowing the astronauts to play Star Wars by speaking to R2. $\endgroup$
    – adam.baker
    Jul 12, 2021 at 11:52

1 Answer 1


The best way I know of to keep up with R2 is by searching the (usually updated daily) ISS On-orbit Status Reports for "robonaut". The actual Robonaut web pages, like many NASA sites, are not updated very often.

When I just performed this search, it sounds like some major problems have been encountered in July and August of this year, and may not yet be resolved.

Speculation: some of the lack of news may be because a private company (GM) is involved in funding the project.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I read that in January 2015 Robonaut was detached from the legs for more testing since the legs failed to work properly. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Sep 2, 2015 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ The problems in July and August sounded pretty serious. $\endgroup$ Sep 2, 2015 at 20:21

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