Well, it looks like the much heralded Russian robot Fedor has come to the end of his mission. The space robot, who has recently returned to earth, was unable to successfully replace human astronauts on spacewalks.
“He won’t fly there any more. There’s nothing more for him to do there, he’s completed his mission,” Yevgeny Dudorov, executive director of robot developers Androidnaya Tekhnika, told RIA Novosti state news agency.
Fedor made his way to the International Space Station on August 22 in an unmanned spacecraft carrying supplies. He entered the orbiting laboratory five days later. Things started out well as the robot greeted his fellow cosmonauts and posed for pictures on the space station proudly holding the Russian flag.
Fedor Not Suited for Space
Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there as Fedor wasn’t designed well for space. Russian officials admitted that he may have been a bit too humanlike as the six-foot tall robot’s long legs weren’t really practical for space walks. It also needed a good amount of support to actually stand up and had issues holding tools.
In Fedor’s Twitter feed, the robot is shown shakily holding a drill before Cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin takes it away. To make matters even worse according to Ovchinin “it took more than a dozen attempts to switch on the robot”.
Russian Scientists Plan To Develop Better Space Robots
Russian scientists unveiled Fedor last year. He got quite a bit of fanfare with videos of him shooting guns, driving cars, and putting together furniture. Fedor was part Terminator part James Bond as he was designed to replace humans in high-risk environments.
Still, even though Fedor didn’t live up to the hype, Russian scientists aren’t giving up. They are calling him “the first step” and promising that the next generation of space robots will be better designed and more technically advanced.
Check out our articles on a robot making smoothies and Hyundai’s exoskeleton that will help workers on the assembly line.