Specialists from the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Russia began testing the first Russian android SAR-400, which will become an assistant to the astronauts at the International Space Station. Information about the testing was presented by the GCTC deputy director Oleg Gordienko, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency and lenta.ru website.
“The tests will be performed at our cosmonaut training center. The robot is designed to perform certain tasks at the ISS and outside of it” ─ said Mr. Gordienko, noting that the robot is now able to carry out simple functions that are dangerous to humans. In particular, the SAR-400 may be used during spacewalks for visual inspection of the spacecraft in order to locate damage and repair it.
The SAR-400 is an anthropomorphic robot, which is being developed by Android Technics. The robot is equipped with two manipulators serving as ‘hands’, and each manipulator ends with a set of ‘fingers’. The project description specifies, that the robot is able to reproduce all movements, which are performed by a human operator, as well as provide visual, audio and tactile feedback.
Robot’s manipulators have 21 degrees of mobility, and the fingers have 28 degrees of mobility. SAR- 400 weights 144 kilograms. The anthropomorphic robot is able to perform various operations with objects weighing up to ten kilograms. The SAR-400 can be used during the spacecraft docking operations, and to help astronauts during the extra-vehicular activity outside a space station or a spacecraft. The preliminary tests of the robot has been already performed at the GCTC Institute, on the basis of the full-size model of the space station “Mir” and “Exit 2” simulator (“Выход-2”).