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The Changing Face of Space Robotics

25.11.2004


Dr Eddie Moxey of the University of Surrey recently gave a speech at the IEE seminar on the Changing Face of Robotics. His speech concentrated on the use of robotics in space.



The talk reviewed the past, present and future of the two main strands of space robotics research and development On-Orbit Servicing (OOS) and Planetary Exploration.

Since the deployment of the Canadarm, on the Space Shuttle, OOS has steadily developed from a fascinating research topic into a potentially lucrative business. Recent research projects, such as Robonaut and Eurobot, have concentrated on more the dexterous manipulation of objects, using humanoid sized, multi-arm, robots, for inspection and servicing on the International Space Station and ultimately on medium and large satellites.


Planetary exploration is gathering pace. The success of the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and the recent, ion-drive, SMART-1 satellite have fuelled new interest in exploration. A host of robotics missions back to Mars will proceed a manned mission by 2033, while other robotic missions to the moons Titan and Europa are already being planned.

The Rosetta Project is the first and a number of international mission to land robotic vehicles on comets and asteroids with the intention of studying their composition in order to gain enough knowledge and experience to be able to defect or destroy the inevitable future threat to the Earth.

Stuart Miller | alfa
Further information:
http://www.surrey.ac.uk

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