That’s how ISS Commander Daniel Burbank describes his interaction with Robonaut 2 yesterday. PhysOrg has more on the space station’s new, robot crew member:
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 impressive robot.”
Robonaut – the first humanoid in space, built from the waist up – said via Twitter that it was an awesome experience, then followed up with some sign language.
“The handshake was definitely one of the highlights of the day, but I’m not done yet,” Robonaut said in a tweet. (A NASA spokeswoman actually files the tweets under the handle AstroRobonaut.)
“Did you catch that? I don’t have a voice, but I sent you a message — Hello world … in sign language!” Robonaut tweeted. “What a day! I passed my tests with flying colors!!!”