Throwing all caution about the robot apocalypse to the wind, GM and NASA have teamed up to create a robotic astronaut. Robonaut2, as he is known to his friends, is a humanoid robot designed to be able to work with real human beings. GM plans to create new car assembly processes that integrate robotic workers to a greater degree. Since Robonaut2 can use pretty much any human tools, he can work in a wide variety of factory situations.
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Robonaut2 can do a lot more than assemble cars. He has fine enough motor control to write in cursive (something most people can't do after 3rd grade) and can lift a twenty pound weight. Robotic astronauts like this are a crucial part of NASA's new space exploration strategy. Under Obama's new plan, one of the areas they will focus on is developing robotic explorers that can land on planets like Mars and set things up for human astronauts before they ever arrive. Robonauts like this one are likely to be the first colonists of Mars and the Moon.