Space Droids Using Sign Language?

By Keith Cowing
November 15, 2011
Filed under

Keith’s note: I have seen Robonaut-2 in action and its dexterity is interesting – and rather facile. So … how could NASA demonstrate this dexterity in new ways, make it a little more “human” or approachable, – and reach a new segment of the populace that is normally overlooked? Program it to use Sign Language. Background: I worked for more than a decade as a professional certified (educational) sign language interpreter. This idea occurred to me when I was looking at this picture and instantly wondered what Robonaut-2 “wanted” or why it was seemingly in the process of saying “here” or maybe “give”. Imagine how fast a video of Robonaut-2 saying something in American Sign Language from space would go viral. NASA could have a competition wherein people submit questions for it to answer. NASA already has a signing astronaut and SMD and NLSI already put out books in Braille. Just a thought.

ISS029-E-039211 (4 Nov. 2011) —high res (1.8 M) low res (104 K)

ISS029-E-039239 (4 Nov. 2011) — high res (1.1 M) low res (88 K)

ISS029-E-039226 (4 Nov. 2011) — high res (0.9 M) low res (79 K)

ISS029-E-039235 (4 Nov. 2011) — high res (1.2 M) low res (92 K)

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.