Robonaut 2 to meddle in Super Bowl pregame

NASA's humanoid bot will join Howie Long on the Fox Pregame Show to predict the Super Bowl MVP.

R2
Robonaut 2, dressed for pigskin punditry. But is it a Packers fan or a Steelers fan? General Motors

The Internet may already know who's going to win the Super Bowl , but fortunately there are still some surprises to look forward to at Sunday's big game--like what Robonaut 2 will have to say when it appears on Fox's pregame show.

NASA's experimental humanoid bot took a break from training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston earlier this week to tape a segment with Fox Sports analyst Howie Long. In it, Long and R2 banter about their predictions for which player will win the Chevrolet Super Bowl MVP award and score a new 2012 Camaro convertible. The Fox Pregame Show kicks off at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Robonaut 2, or R2 as it is better known, was developed by NASA and General Motors to assist astronauts on the International Space Station and help GM conduct crash avoidance and other safety tests.

The 330-pound R2 has a torso with a head, two arms, two dexterous humanlike hands complete with four fingers and one thumb each, and its own Twitter account. When it's not sending tweets or pondering football stats, it's learning skills that eventually will be uploaded to its twin, which is already packed in special casing aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery awaiting a scheduled February 24 launch from Kennedy Space Center.

Once inside the ISS' Destiny orbiting laboratory, the robot will be tested by engineers to see how it operates in microgravity and the station's radiation and electromagnetic interference environments. It's expected to become a permanent resident of the ISS, possibly working side-by-side with astronauts in the future.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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