16 Feb '12, 4am

The first handshake between a human and a robot, in space

CAPE CANAVERAL (Florida) - Astronauts and robots have united in space with a healthy handshake. The commander of the International Space Station, Daniel Burbank, shook hands Wednesday with Robonaut. It's the first handshake ever between a human and a humanoid in space. NASA's Robonaut was launched aboard space shuttle Discovery last February. Crews have been testing it to see how it one day might help astronauts perform space station chores. On Wednesday, ground controllers activated computer software that enabled the robot to extend its right hand, fingers outstretched. Burbank took the mechanical hand and pumped it up and down, as the robot's fingers tightened around his hand. "The first human-humanoid handshake in space," Burbank proclaimed. A cheer went up in the control room in Huntsville, Ala. "For the record, it was a firm handshake," Burbank radioed. "Quite an impr...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC120216-0000107/First-...

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