01:31 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Russian-Developed Robot Acquires New, Essential Spacewalking Functions - Cosmonaut

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik): A Russian-developed anthropomorphic space-faring robot can now perform the important function of deploying fasteners to handrails during spacewalks, cosmonaut Sergei Kud-Sverchkov said Thursday.

    Speaking at a presentation as part of the annual International Astronautical Congress in Washington, Kud-Sverchkov said that ground experiments and simulations carried out with the robot included "securing and detaching carabiners to handrails."

    Carabiners are essential for securing a person — or robot — to a spaceship when in the zero-gravity environment of outer space, to avoid drifting away as a result of any small application of force to the surface of the craft.

    According to Kud-Sverchkov, the robot also successfully toggled switches, pressed buttons, linked electrical connectors, opened doors with magnetic latches, worked with a drill, twisted and unscrewed bolts and wiped surfaces with a cloth and sponge — all in controlled environments and monitored by scientists.

    Russia has been pioneering human-like robots in space to perform tasks difficult or dangerous for human space explorers. Most notably, the Skybot F-850 robot, also known as Fyodor (or Fedor) had a stint on the International Space Station between August and September amid some fanfare.


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