Asimo, you have some company. General Motors revealed today it has partnered with NASA to develop a humanoid robot of its own.
Working together through a Space Act agreement, the pair — along with Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston, Texas — built “Robonaut 2.” An improvement over the original Robonaut, built in-house at NASA, the robot is said to be quicker and more dexterous than other humanoid ‘bots.
Obviously, NASA would love to use a device like this for space exploration (it’d be perfect for spacewalks and other extra-vehicular activities), but the time spent working on R2 could help improve future automobiles as well. According to Alan Taub, GM’s vice president for global research and development, the automaker hopes to glean experience with advanced control systems, sensors, and vision technologies — many of which could eventually be applied to vehicle safety systems.