Robotnaut 2, the robot aboard the International Space station, is going to get new robotic apendages specially designed for zero gravity. R2 arrived in space in February 2011 and has been put to use since August of that year, but only with robotic arms. As you’ll see in this video report, the legs that R2 will have added seem to function more like arms, but nonetheless will offer the robot a greater ability to help astronauts with mundane or dangerous tasks.
R2 will receive its legs early next year. While the legs can work both inside and outside the space station, R2’s upper body will need some upgrades before it can enter the harsh vacuum of space.
The leg attachments have been a long time coming. Back when R2 powered up in August 2011, engineers hoped to have its legs attached by the end of the year. At this point they’re two years behind schedule.