I’m a bit abashed… NASA snuck this guy right past me, and I never even knew about him!  The next Shuttle mission to the International Space Station, set for September,  will include R2, a robot!  Well…  half a robot, for now, anyway.  He doesn’t have any legs, and he’ll be bolted down, but he’s going to become a permanent part of ISS.  Eventually, they’ll take him outside on spacewalks, to assist astronauts and cosmonauts.  Here’s a video where the designers talk a bit about him.  You can follow him on Twitter, too!

He even gets his own mission patch!

This is sooo cool!

Of course, in every bad science fiction story where the robots take over or destroy the world, the first robots are innocuous.  We will have to keep an eye on this guy, and any compatriots that get built.

I offer some suggestions for their design:

#1.  An easy to reach off switch!

#2. An equivalent to the Three Laws of Robotics.

#3. Don’t ever give them a personality, no matter how much they beg for one!

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