TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THIS HISTORIC HANDSHAKE...ONE BETWEEN A ROBOTICS LABORATORY IN THE NETHERLANDS...OPERATED BY THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY....AND US ASTRONAUT TERRY VIRTS.... AT THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.
FOR THE FIRST TIME....AN ASTRONAUT WORKING IN OUTER SPACE HAS CONTROLLED A MOVEABLE DEVICE ON EARTH.
SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Andre Schiele, Head of Telerobotics Laboratory, ESA Noordwijk:
"I am feeling very happy and I think that for space robotics this is a very good, a first point to actually to reach down from space to ground and actually be able to touch systems on earth from space."
THE SPACE HANDSHAKE IS PART OF A PROJECT CALLED HAPTICS 2.
THE WORD HAPTIC REFERS TO DEVICES THAT CONVEY A SENSE OF TOUCH...SOMETHING ESSENTIAL TO CARRYING OUT REMOTE TASKS SUCH AS INSERTING A PIN...OR TURNING A SCREW.
SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Andre Schiele, Head of ESA Telerobotics Laboratory
"So it is very essential to actually to receive that force feed back back in the space station and astronauts will be able to exactly feel what they are doing without breaking the system allowing them to do assembly tasks, packing hole task or operate knobs and doors and exchange technical facilities what you can see here".
SCIENTISTS HERE HOPE IT'S THE START OF SOMETHING BIG.
SOUNDBITE (English)Thomas Krueger, ESA Communication Software Expert
"Potential opportunities with this technology is a really great. Think of other events on earth like Fukushima (nuclear plant disaster) or underwater operations. Basically this technology of remotely controlling robot can be applied not just on space but also on earth."
IN SPACE, HOWEVER, SCIENTISTS SAY THE TECHNOLOGY HOLDS OUT GREAT PROMISE BECAUSE ROBOTS...REMOTELY CONTROLLED BY HUMANS... WILL LIKELY TO BE THE FIRST EXPLORERS OF DISTANT PLANETS.
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