Russia’s Skybot F-380 is expected to perform a series of tasks under the control of cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov. (Image credit: Roscosmos via Facebook)
Russia’s humanoid sometimes gunslinger robot Skybot F-380 has finally reached the ISS after the Soyuz capsule carrying it had difficulty docking with the ISS. The spacecraft aborted the docking procedure, which was scheduled for August 24th, when one of the components of the automatic docking port malfunctioned, which has since been repaired. During the flight, the robot was seated in the commander’s seat and was responsible for monitoring and reporting conditions on its way to the space station. The Skybot F-380 is expected to perform a series of experiments aboard the station, where it will be remotely operated by cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, and will also be able to communicate with the crew.
It’s unclear precisely what tasks or experiments that the robot will perform in microgravity, but unique algorithms were put into place to reduce its rate of movement so it won’t accidentally damage the international space station. The Skybot F-380 (AKA FEDOR, AKA Feodor, AKA Avatar) was initially funded by Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations for rescue operations in hazardous environments and was seen shortly afterward in a series of viral videos in 2017 showing the robot shooting guns at various targets.
The Skybot F-380 is Russia’s first anthropomorphic robot, which stands just under 6-feet, weighs 352-pounds, and boasts a 20 horsepower capacity. The robot has some level of autonomy in the form of movement and is capable of identifying objects and tools, as well as navigating around obstacles. Skybot was designed using 15,000 machined parts, with 50% created in Russia, while the remaining percent contributed by the US, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and others.
Skybot is expected to return to earth on September 7th, but its adventures in space are hardly over as the robot is slated to be a flight tester aboard Russia’s Federation spacecraft, which has an initial launch date of 2022 atop the Soyuz 5 carrier rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It might also be slated for an around-the-moon trip aboard the Federation craft later on down the pipeline.
Have a story tip? Message me at: cabe(at)element14(dot)com