First Human-Robonaut Handshake in Outer Space

This is a feel good story of the day – the world’s first human to humanoid robot handshake, in space! The robot even sent out a tweet.

From The New York Times:

The commander of the International Space Station, Daniel Burbank, shook hands Wednesday with Robonaut. It’s the first handshake ever between a human and a humanoid in space.

NASA’s Robonaut was launched aboard space shuttle Discovery last February. Crews have been testing it to see how it one day might help astronauts perform space station chores.

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.

You can learn more about the Robonaut NASA project here.