Russia begins testing an android for EVA

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Posted October 4, 2013
SAR-400 Android robot. Credit: Android Technic.

SAR-400 Android robot. Credit: Android Technic.

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 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”).

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