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The First Human-Like Robot (Grade 6)

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The First Human-Like Robot

A handshake is not an uncommon gesture in today's culture. Friends shake hands upon meeting each other. Strangers shake hands when they are introduced. Businessmen shake hands before and after meetings. However, a very unusual handshake occurred in February 2012. Dan Burbank, the station commander on the International Space Station (ISS) reached out to grasp the metallic hand of Robonaut 2. After shaking the commander's hand, R2 faced the ISS camera and waved hello to the rest of the world. R2 is the world's first human-like robot and the latest member to call the ISS home.

The robot cost more than two million dollars to build. Its head contains four cameras. Its chest holds almost 40 computer processors. Made out of aluminum and steel, R2 wears a backpack full of batteries. It is certainly not a surprise that this robot weighs hundreds of pounds.

R2 was first tested under the effects of earth's gravity. The next question was how would it perform in outer space? It did great!

Currently, R2 has been trained to do simple cleaning tasks, like wiping rails, and cleaning filters. Eventually, the robot will be used for much more complicated tasks since it will not require the same suits and other equipment that regular astronauts do. One day, R2 may be making space walks and discovering amazing things to share with the rest of the world.
1. 
Based on this passage, why were the experts worried about how R2 would perform in outer space?
  1. They did not think that the robot's head cameras would provide clear images.
  2. There was concern that the batteries in the backpack would not last long enough.
  3. On the ISS, the robot was not functioning under the power of the earth's gravity.
  4. Robots were known for having problems with space walks in outer space.
2. 
Which statement would make the best conclusion for this passage?
  1. R2 just might go where no man- or robot-has ever gone before.
  2. Next, R2 will learn how to climb without having to use its hands.
  3. The cameras in R2's head can send images back to NASA for observation.
  4. Since there is no gravity on the space station, R2 had to be reprogrammed.
3. 
Based on this passage, which of the following statements is most likely true?
  1. The ISS staff resents having a robot on board with them.
  2. R2 has been designed with cutting edge technology.
  3. The Discovery shuttle will not be making very many more voyages.
  4. The robot will not be ready to be helpful to the ISS for many years yet.

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