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"A new robotic space technology spinoff derived from NASA's Robonaut 2 project someday may help astronauts stay healthier in space and aid paraplegics in walking here on Earth. Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space, currently is working with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. NASA and The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) of Pensacola, Fla., with the help of engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston, have jointly developed a robotic exoskeleton called X1. The 57-pound device is a robot that a human could wear over his or her body either to assist or inhibit movement in leg joints. In the inhibit mode, the robotic device would be used as an in-space exercise machine to supply resistance against leg movement. The same technology could be used in reverse on the ground, potentially helping some individuals walk for the first time." More

Applications are now being accepted for the Achieving Competence in Computing, Engineering and Space Science project, also known as ACCESS. This 10-week, paid internship at NASA centers around the U.S. is designed for undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities. Applicants should have strong backgrounds in science, a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and a desire to pursue technical careers. Students who are chosen will work with scientists and engineers in an area compatible with their skills and interests. Applications for placement at NASA are due Feb. 11, 2011. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/descriptions/Achieving_Competence.html. Please e-mail any questions about this opportunity to Laureen Summers at lsummers@aaas.org.