He’s only a few months old, and already he’s a Twitter fiend. NASA’s Robonaut 2 helper droid has finally been “unboxed” after months in a crate on the International Space Station, and one of the first things he did after achieving his freedom was send out a tweet.
Robonaut 2, also known as R2, has been sitting dormant on the ISS since February. As io9 reports, he was finally given power and turned on Monday.
R2’s Twitter account (@astrorobonaut) has been active even before he awoke from being dormant, but yesterday was the first time he tweeted with actual power flowing through his circuits. His first tweet after his power cable was plugged in and working:
Although his visuals have been turned on, R2 won’t be given any commands to move his appendages until September 1st. When asked about his thoughts on this, he is quite understanding: “…I have a lot of testing to go through first. Then I need some legs to help me move around.” He does lament not being able to move his head though (“Sure wish I could move my head and look around”), as his only view is of a wall of circuits and wires.
He’s clearly very excited about the big motion test that’s coming on September 1st, as he’ll be able to try out his arms, fingers and hands, as well as take high quality images of the ISS for Twitter fans to check out. And although he informs his followers that there are no plans to return to Earth, he’s not too broken up about this, tweeting “ISS 4 LIFE!”.
NASA launched its Twitter campaign only this past April, but already they have invited Twitter followers to watch the final space shuttle launch, had a tweeting astronaut hold a hashtag chat from the ISS, invited 30 followers to pilot a space shuttle simulator, and asked 150 followers to watch the launch of Jupiter-bound space craft Juno. And now, they’re helping the first humanoid robot sign on and answer “What’s Happening” himself.